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NEWS RELEASE · 24th June 2010
Ministry of Forest and Range
Effective at noon, June 25, all medium- and large-sized open fires are prohibited within the Northwest Fire Centre's jurisdiction, with the exception of the North Coast and Haida Gwaii forest districts, to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. Any fires currently burning that meet the prohibition criteria below must be extinguished by noon tomorrow.

Effective at noon Thursday, June 24, all medium- and large-sized open fires are prohibited across the Prince George Fire Centre's jurisdiction to help prevent human- caused wildfires and protect public safety.

Specifically this prohibits:

* Burning waste, slash or other material, whether piled or unpiled, that is larger than 0.5 metres in height or 0.5 metres in width.
* More than two piles of waste, slash or other burning, whether piled or unpiled, that are of any size.
* Stubble or grass burning over any area.
* Fireworks of any size or description.

The ban does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to open fires, including campfires, that are a half-metre by a half-metre or smaller. Please ensure campfires are not lit or kept burning during windy conditions, that adequate tools, water and people are on hand to contain a fire and that fires are fully extinguished before leaving the area.

This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown 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 restrictions before lighting a fire.

Anyone contravening an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, or, if convicted, 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.

The Northwest Fire Centre is currently experiencing dry conditions and high to extreme fire danger.

The Northwest Fire Centre is responsible for forest fire protection for the western portion of the northern interior forest region, and the northern portion of the coastal forest region. The area stretches from Haida Gwaii to just west of Endako and from the Yukon border to Tweedsmuir Park.

The Prince George Fire Centre is currently experiencing dry conditions and elevated fire hazard. Human-caused wildfires continue to draw resources away from unpreventable wildfires caused by lightning.

The Prince George Fire Centre covers the area from 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

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, please call *5555 on your cellphone or phone toll-free: 1 800 663-5555.

For more information on open fire prohibitions or for updates on current wildfire activity, visit www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1 888 3FOREST.