A Category 2 open burning prohibition has been announced by the Southeast Fire Centre. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

A Category 2 open burning prohibition has been announced by the Southeast Fire Centre. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Southeast Fire Centre bans Category 2 open burning fires

As temperatures heat up and conditions dry out, the Southeast Fire Centre has announced a Category 2 fire ban on open burning effective Friday, July 15th.

A Category 2 fire is classified as one to two concurrently burning piles no larger that two metres high by three metres wide or burning stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares.

Other prohibitions under the ban include fireworks, sky lanterns, exploding binary targets, air curtain burners and burn barrels.

The ban will remain in place until Oct. 15, or until otherwise notified by authorities. Category 3 open burning was also previously banned at the end of June.

Campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller remain permitted.

Penalties can be harsh for those who contravene those bans, as fines can include a ticket for $1,150 or administrative penalties of $10,000 and court convictions can include further consequences. If the contravention causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay for all firefighting costs.

There have been 18 wildfires reported to date this season in the Southeast Fire Centre that have burned 60 hectares, according to statistics data on the BC Wildfire Service website.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.