Campfire. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media - File)

No campfires: B.C. bans campfires from Wednesday amid heatwave conditions

The ban is in place until mid-October or until conditions improve

From 1pm tomorrow (Wednesday June 30) campfires are banned in British Columbia.

In a release on Tuesday morning, the BC Wildfire Service said the ban would stay in place until mid-October, or until the order is rescinded.

“The provincial weather forecast calls for record-breaking high temperatures throughout B.C. this week and follows a spring of lower-than-average precipitation in the southern half of the province,” reads the release.

“These conditions are expected to persist in the coming weeks.

“Camping is a long-standing tradition in this province. The B.C. government recognizes that people also enjoy having campfires, so it takes any decision to implement a campfire ban very seriously.”

Besides campfires, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires, provincial authorities have also banned fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels, binary exploding targets, tiki torches, outdoor fireplaces and portable fireplaces.

“Anyone found in contravention of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, may be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be 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,” reads the BC Wildfire Service release.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, BC residents are asked to call 1-800-663-5555.

BC Wildfire’s Southeast Fire Centre banned fireworks ahead of Canada Day on June 23 before the significant heatwave event rolled over much of Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest in the US. Temperature records have been broken across B.C., with a new Canadian record set in Lytton, where on Monday the temperature reached 47.9 C – beating out the previous record which was also set in Lytton just a day prior.

In Fernie, planned fireworks at the Fernie Alpine Resort for Canada was nixxed in the lead up through the heatwave, with temperatures in the valley expected to reach the high-30s today (Tuesday) and stay high through to the end of the week.

READ MORE: RDEK Fire Services warns of danger of tossed cigarette butts



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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