A fire ban which went into effect May 19 shouldn’t affect most people out for a weekend in the woods, but check to make sure.
Effective at noon on Saturday, May 19, Category 2 open fires and fireworks will be prohibited in most of the Prince George Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.
The prohibition covers the entire Prince George Fire Centre with the exception of the Fort Nelson Fire Zone, north of Buckinghorse River.
The ban will remain in place until Sept. 30, or until the public is otherwise notified. Specifically, this ban applies to:
• The burning of any material, piled or unpiled, smaller than two metres in height and three metres in width, including burning barrels.
• Stubble or grass fires over an area less than 2,000 square metres.
The ban does not prohibit campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
People lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable material from around the campfire area, and they must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
People lighting larger fires or more than two fires of any size must comply with burning regulations and must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717.
This ban 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 a fire department. Please check with civic authorities for any current restrictions before lighting any fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire ban may be fined $345 or, if convicted in court, 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.
Anyone planning to conduct burning should ensure that fires are not lit near buildings, trees or other combustible materials.
Never burn during windy conditions and ensure you have adequate people, water and hand tools available to prevent fires from escaping.
Never leave a fire unattended and make sure it is completely extinguished and the embers are cold to the touch before leaving the area.
The Prince George Fire Centre extends from the Yukon and Northwest Territories borders 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.
Report a wildfire or unattended campfire by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.