A ban on some open burning will soon go into effect within the Kamloops Fire Centre.
As of noon of Friday, June 30, Category 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.
The prohibition is being enacted to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety, according to a June 23 media release from B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
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 applies 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 23 release.
Category 2 fires, which include one or two concurrently burning piles up to two metres high by three metres wide each or the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares, is not included in the June 30th ban at this time.
The prohibition also does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a high-metre wide or smaller and does not apply apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
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 Kamloops Fire Centre would like to thank the public for its continuing help in preventing wildfires,” reads the media release.
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.