Campfire bans are slated to take effect for much of British Columbia this week, with more hot, dry weather in the forecast after an unseasonably dry May.
As of noon Thursday, campfires — officially known as “Category 1 open fires” — will be prohibited in the Prince George Fire Centre, the Kamloops Fire Centre, the Cariboo Fire Centre and the Tsilhqot’in (Xeni Gwet’in) Declared Title Area, the Coastal Fire Centre (with the exception of the Haida Gwaii Forest District) and the Northwest Fire Centre’s Nadina Zone.
The new prohibitions come on top of an existing B.C.-wide ban on Category 2 and Category 3 open burning, covering larger fires.
The BC Wildfire Service is also reminding people of a variety of other banned activity including fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels, Tiki torches, chimeneas and air curtain burners.
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CSA- and ULC-rated outdoor stoves and heat or ambiance devices that use charcoal briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel and a flame height under 15 centimetres are still permitted.
As of Tuesday, B.C.’s fire danger rating had climbed to high or extreme for most of the province.
The province is also in the grips of what Global BC senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon called a “mini heat wave” with unreasonably high temperatures forecast across southern B.C. this week.
Parts of the Interior such as Lytton could see temperatures surge to 37 C on Wednesday, while areas like the Kootenays and Okanagan Valley could see highs of up to 35 C.
Temperatures were forecast to be cooler on the coast, though Port Alberni could see a high of 33 C, with the rest of the coast holding in the 27 C to 31 C range, Gordon said.