As fire crews continue to battle 140 wildfires in the southern and central interior, dozens of people continue to disregard fire prohibitions with illegal campfires still being reported to BC Wildfire Services.
In response, enforcement is being stepped up through increased patrols by the Conservation Officer Service and the Compliance and Enforcement Branch.
Under current fire prohibitions, the ban includes:Campfires.
Category 2 open fires.
Category 3 open fires.
The use of tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description.
Fires burning woody debris in outdoor stoves.
The use of binary exploding targets.
The prohibition does not ban cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
The fine for ignoring a fire ban is $1,150. If convicted in court, an additional fine can be up to $100,000 and a sentence of one year in jail.
If the fire causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be subject to a penalty of up to $100,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
Two hikers are facing fines for lighting a campfire, knowing full well it was a restricted part of the Cariboo region. The campfire was not enough, the two hikers also became stranded and had to be rescued, “extracted by helicopter with the assistance of the BC Wildfire Service and B.C. Parks staff.” After retrieving the pair, firefighters extinguished their campfire.
“It’s really unfortunate that these hikers’ blatant disregard for the park’s closure resulted in the diversion of valuable resources and assets which would have otherwise been used in fire suppression efforts.”