The Kamloops Fire Centre has announced that, effective noon Sunday, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, including Vernon and surrounding area.
The move is to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
Specifically, prohibited activities will include:
– The burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled) larger than one-half metre by one-half metre;
– The burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time;
– Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area;
– The use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description.
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at www.bcwildfire.ca.
This prohibition covers all B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire protection bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.
Before lighting any fire, people should check with local authorities to see if any other burning bylaws or restrictions are in effect.
Always check the venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If venting conditions are rated “poor” or “fair”, open burning is restricted.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $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.
From April 1 to May 11, B.C. Wildfire Service crews responded to 36 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre.
Many of these wildfires were the result of poorly planned open burning.
Anyone intending to conduct a Category 2 or Category 3 fire must extinguish it by noon Sunday.
This prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 15 or until further notice.