A ban on open fires and fireworks will soon go into effect within the Kamloops Fire Centre.
As of noon on Friday, June 11, Category 2 and 3 open fires will be prohibited within the boundary of the Kamloops Fire Centre, which runs from Blue River in the north to the U.S. border, and from Bridge River in the west to the Monashee Mountains in the east.
According to a June 4 media release from B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the prohibition is being enacted to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.
A Category 2 open fire refers to a fire (not a campfire) in that has material in a pile not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width; material concurrently in two piles, each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width; or stubble or grass over an area that does not exceed 0.2 hectares.
A Category 3 open fire refers to a fire where material is concurrently in three or more piles, each not exceeding two metres in height and three in width; and when material is in one or more piles each exceeding two metres in height or three metres in width; or to stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 hectares.
The prohibition also includes fireworks, sky lanterns and burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description, except when used for a campfire as defined by the Wildfire Regulation.
These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within the Kamloops Fire Centre, unless specified otherwise in an enactment (e.g. in a local government bylaw), reads the June 4 release.
“Before lighting any fire, people should check with local government authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in effect.”
Anyone found in contravention of the open burn prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, face an administrative penalty of up to $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 prohibition does not ban campfires up to half-metre high by a high-metre wide and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories call 1 888 3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca
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