Category 2 and Category 3 open burning will be prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre (PGFC) beginning at noon Friday, June 25 to help prevent human-caused wildfires.
The restrictions will remain in effect until 12 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2021, or until the public is otherwise notified, said the PGFC.
Also banned is the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description.
Heat warnings were issued by Environment Canada for much of B.C. including the Stuart-Nechako on Wednesday, June 23. The dangerous long-duration heatwave is anticipated to last until June 30 with daytime highs ranging from 29°C to 36°C.
“The current forecast for the PGFC’s jurisdiction area is calling for elevated temperatures through the weekend and into early next week, causing increased fire danger ratings,” a news release stated.
Category 2 and Category 3 open fires are defined by B.C’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development as fires larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide.
Fines or jail time is possible to anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs, as well as the value of resources damaged or destroyed by the wildfire, the PGFC said.
Wildfires, unattended campfires or open burning violations can be reported by calling 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
The ban does not apply to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.