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Campfires OK for long weekend, but Category 2 fires banned in Okanagan

Click to play video: 'Campfires still allowed in B.C. on May long weekend'
Campfires still allowed in B.C. on May long weekend
WATCH: Despite wildfires already burning B.C.'s forests, there will be no campfire ban this long weekend. As Angela Jung reports, campers say while they understand the importance of a ban, they're excited to have the full camping experience – May 13, 2024

The Southern Interior will join other parts of B.C. this week when Category 2 open fires undergo their annual ban.

The ban in the Kamloops Fire Centre will begin Friday at noon, though campfires are still allowed as the province gets ready to celebrate the May long weekend.

“This prohibition is being enacted to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety,” said the BC Wildfire Service.

The Category 2 open fires ban will be in place until Oct. 11, or until it’s rescinded.

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Task force put out hundreds of abandoned backcountry fires in 2023

A Category 2 open fire is a pile of material that does not exceed two metres in height and three metres in width, or grass or stubble that does not exceed 0.2 of a hectare.

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BC Wildfire says anyone conducting Category 2 open fires in the region must extinguish them by noon on Friday.

It’s the second fire ban for the region, which saw larger Category 3 open fires banned earlier this month, on May 3.

Earlier this week, BC Wildfire said it wasn’t implementing any campfire prohibitions, but did ask the public to be vigilant.

“We want people to enjoy the long weekend but do so responsibly,” said Cliff Chapman of BC Wildfire, “and if you see something, please call it in, even if you think it has already been called in.”

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Also Friday at noon, the Coastal Fire Centre will be banning Category 2 and 3 open fires. Those bans will be in place until Oct. 31 or until it’s rescinded.

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More information about fire bans and restrictions is available online.

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