Campfire ban in B.C.’s Southern Interior to begin Thursday

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Campfires in B.C.’s Southern Interior will soon be banned throughout summer and early fall.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Forests announced that starting noon on Thursday, June 8, campfires will be prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre.

The ministry says it’s issuing the ban “to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety,” and that it’s in effect until noon on Oct. 13 or until the order is rescinded.

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As it stands, Category 2 and 3 fires are already prohibited.

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A Category 2 open fire can be one or two piles that measure up to two metres in height in three metres in width, or stubble or grass being burned that doesn’t exceed 0.2 of a hectare.

A Category 3 open fire is three piles or more than exceed two metres in height and three meters in width; one or more windrows that exceed 200 metres in length or 15 metres in width; grass or stubble that exceeds 0.2 of a hectare.

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In addition to open fires being prohibited, the ministry says the below items are also restricted:

  • Fireworks
  • Sky lanterns
  • Burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
  • Binary exploding targets
  • Air curtain burners
  • Tiki and similar kinds of torches
  • Chimineas

This prohibition does not include the use of outdoor stoves with flame heights less than 15 cm tall.

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“These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within the Kamloops Fire Centre jurisdiction unless specified otherwise in an enactment,” said the ministry.

“Always check with local government authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in effect.”

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The province says anyone found in contravention of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.

It also said that if the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

“Camping is a long-standing tradition in this province,” said the ministry.

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“The B.C. government recognizes that people also enjoy having campfires, so it takes any decision to implement a campfire ban very seriously.”

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