PRINCE GEORGE – Despite recent cool temperatures and precipitation in the Prince George Fire Centre, the weather outlook is forecasting for another warm drying trend.
Since April 1, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to 129 wildfires in the Prince George Fire Centre, burning 89,543 hectares. Of those fires, 95% were human-caused.
Category 2 open fires are still prohibited throughout the entire fire centre. Category 3 fires are allowed in the Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, and Mackenzie natural resource districts. However Category 3 fires are prohibited in the Dawson Creek, Fort St John, and Fort Nelson Fire natural resource districts
Specifically, the Category 2 open fire prohibition applies to:
* The burning of any waste, slash or other materials.
* Stubble or grass fires over an area less than 2,000 square metres.
* Fireworks, tiki torches, sky lanterns .
* The use of stoves and other portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA/ULC approved.
This open fire prohibition does not ban campfires that are half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
A map of the affected areas within the Prince George Fire centre is available online: http://bit.ly/27ZnqbE
Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area, must never leave the campfire unattended, and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire before leaving the area for any length of time.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by the fire department. Please check with local authorities for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be fined $1,150 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.