Effective at noon on Aug. 1, 2014, campfires will once again be prohibited in all areas of the Coastal Fire Centre, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the coastal area known as the “fog zone”.
The fog zone is a two-kilometre-wide strip along the outer coast of Vancouver Island, stretching from Owen Point (near Port Renfrew) north to the tip of Vancouver Island and around to the boundary of the District of Port Hardy. This strip extends inland two kilometres from the high-tide point.
The Coastal Fire Centre is implementing this campfire ban due to increasing temperatures and no precipitation in the forecast. This is the second strong drying period of the summer, with lightning in the forecast through the long weekend. Public assistance is needed to reduce the number of human-caused fires and enable crews to respond to naturally occurring wildfires.
The following uses will not be allowed:
• campfires, as defined by the wildfire regulation
• open fires in an outdoor stove
This prohibition does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. The use of tiki torches, fireworks or sky lanterns is also prohibited.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before Category 3 open fires continue to be restricted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. Small backyard burning piles (Category 2 fires) remain prohibited within the Coastal Fire Centre, except in Haida Gwaii and the “fog zone”.
Category 2 burning includes:
• the burning of any material in piles larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide, up
to two metres high by three metres wide
• the burning of stubble or grass up to 0.2 hectares in size
• fireworks and burning barrels of any size and description
Anyone found in violation of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket of up to $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range north of the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or non-compliant open burning, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.
– Contributed by the Coastal Fire Centre