UPDATE: The ban now nullifies any permits for backyard fire pits in the City of Fernie as of Tuesday, August 5 until further notice.
The warm and dry weather this summer has resulted in a campfire ban across the Southeast Fire Centre.
The ban, which goes into effect Tuesday, August 5, will prohibit the following activities: campfires, the burning of any waste or materials, stubble or grass fires of any size and barrel burning of any size.
The ban also forbids the use of any fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches and outdoor fire pits.
Gas and propane cooking stoves are not included in the ban.
“Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires,” said the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in a release on Monday.
The Southeast Fire Centre spans north from the U.S. border to the Mica Dam and extends from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the east to the B.C.-Alberta border.
The ban covers all BC Parks and private lands.
Violators of the fire prohibition may be fined a ticket up to $345 while those found guilty of arson or recklessness resulting in a wildfire may be fined up to $1 million, in addition to a three-year prison sentence.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, citizens are encouraged to call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.