As of July 28 at 12 p.m., Category 2 and Category 3 open burning will be prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre, which includes Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James.
The current forecast for the PGFC’s jurisdiction area is calling for elevated temperatures through the weekend and into next week, causing increased fire danger, stated a July 22 press release from the BC Wildfire Service.
The prohibition will remain in effect until 12 p.m. on October 15 or until the order is rescinded.
This order does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high and half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
A Category 2 open fire includes material in one pile, not exceeding 2 metres in height and 3 metres in width; material concurrently in 2 piles each not exceeding 2 metres in height and 3 metres in width; and stubble or grass over an area that does not exceed 0.2 hectares.
Meanwhile, Category 3 means an open fire that burns material concurrently in 3 or more piles each not exceeding 2 metres in height and 3 metres in width; materials in one or more piles each exceeding 2 metres in height or 3 metres in width; one or more windrows; stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 hectares.
The following activities are also prohibited – fireworks; sky lanterns; binary exploding targets; burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description; and air curtain burners.
These orders apply to all public and private lands unless otherwise specified for instance in an enactment or local government bylaw.
Anyone found in contravention for an open-burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150; may also be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. “If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs,” as stated in the news release.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll free or *5555 on a cell phone or through the BC Wildfire Service mobile app.