Effective at noon Aug. 23, campfires were again permitted in the old Kalum forest district and the Bulkley fire zone of the Northwest Fire Centre's jurisdiction, due to a decreased risk of wildfires. In addition, all open fires were permitted in the North Coast and Haida Gwaii forest districts.
Campfire bans and other burning restrictions remain in place for other parts of the fire centre. Details are available at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp
Where campfires are now allowed, they must not be larger than 0.5 metres wide or 0.5 metres tall. Anyone who lights a campfire must have a hand tool such as a shovel, or at least eight litres of water nearby to fully extinguish it. Never leave a campfire unattended, and make sure ashes are completely cold to the touch before leaving the area.
Anyone lighting a Category 3 fire where it is now permitted, must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717, and must comply with air quality control legislation. A Category 3 fire is one that burns material larger than two metres in height or three metres in width, stubble or grass over more than 2,000 square metres, or more than two piles of any size.
The rescinding of these prohibitions applies to 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 found in violation of an open fire ban may be issued a ticket for $345. Should a wildfire occur as a result of recklessness, a person can be fined up to $1 million or spend three years in prison and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The Northwest Fire Centre is responsible for fire suppression and forest protection for an area that stretches from Burns Lake to Haida Gwaii and from Tweedsmuir Park to the Yukon border.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire please call *5555 on your cellphone, or toll-free to 1 800 663-5555.
For more information on open fire prohibitions, area restrictions or for updates on current wildfire activity, visit www.bcwildfire.ca