The BC Wildfire Service is reminding the public that the use of fireworks is banned in the Southeast Fire Centre, as part of the Category 2 and Category 3 open burning prohibitions implemented earlier this year to help reduce wildfire risks.
Setting off fireworks is considered to be a high-risk activity, since they can easily ignite forest fuels and start a wildfire that could threaten public safety.
Category 2 and 3 open burning prohibitions include the burning of any waste, slash or other materials, stubble or grass fires of any size over any area and the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description. The use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for rifle target practice) and the use of air curtain burners are also prohibited.
These prohibitions do not ban campfires that are smaller than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide and they do not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
These prohibitions cover all B.C. Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.
Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
The BC Wildfire Service responded to 32 abandoned campfires over the B.C. Day long weekend in the Southeast Fire Centre. The public is being urged to be more careful with fire use to help reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.
Abandoned campfires can easily spark wildfires. Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and unnecessarily divert firefighting resources away from naturally occurring wildfires.
Since Friday, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to nine lightning-caused wildfires and one human-caused wildfire in the Southeast Fire Centre. Since April 1, 2016, it has responded to 82 wildfires in the region that have burned 329 hectares. Forty-six of these fires were lightning-caused and 36 are suspected to be human-caused.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The Southeast Fire Centre encompasses the area extending from the United States border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands or Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. The Southeast Fire Centre includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain natural resource districts.