PRINCE GEORGE – Effective at noon on June 15, 2016, Category 3 open fires will once again be allowed throughout the Prince George Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. However, Category 2 open burning is still prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre.
Cooler temperatures and precipitation in the region have reduced wildfire risks and allowed the Category 3 burning prohibition to be lifted. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/wildfire-status/fire-bans-and-restrictions/bcws_openfireregsposter.pdf
Although clearing and burning activities can help mitigate interface wildfire risks, any open burning must be done safely. Anyone planning to conduct a Category 3 burn is encouraged to visit the BC Wildfire Service website at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/fire-bans-and-restrictions
Please take the following precautions:
* Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
* Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material starting new fires.
* Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
* Never leave a fire unattended.
* Make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
The current prohibition in the Prince George Fire Centre does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
This prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before conducting any burn, check with your local fire department, municipality and regional district to see if any other open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.
The Prince George Fire Centre extends from the borders of the Yukon and Northwest Territories in the north to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Cottonwood River and Robson Valley in the south, and from the Alberta border in the east to the Skeena Mountains in the west. A map showing the affected areas is available online at: http://bit.ly/1UP2Pga
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, 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.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.