July 4, 2018

**Provided courtesy of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development BC Wildfire Service

CASTLEGAR, BC (July 4, 2018) - Effective at noon (Pacific time) on Friday, July 6, 2018, Category 2 open burning will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre's jurisdiction.

This is in addition to the Category 3 open burning prohibition that was put in place on June 8, 2018. Both prohibitions will remain in place until further notice.

A Category 2 open burning prohibition does not allow:

* the burning of any material (piled or unpiled) larger than a campfire (i.e. no larger than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high)
* the burning of stubble or grass over an area smaller than 0.2 hectares
* the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
* the use of air curtain burners
* the use of sky lanterns
* the use of fireworks including firecrackers
* the use of binary exploding targets

The BC Wildfire Service is implementing this prohibition to help prevent wildfires and protect public safety. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

Anyone conducting a Category 2 open burn anywhere within the Southeast Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by the deadline. A map indicating the areas affected by this prohibition is available online at: http://ow.ly/vGDO30kMM7o

This prohibition applies to all public and private land unless specified otherwise, for example in a local government bylaw. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

This prohibition does not apply to campfires that are smaller than a half-metre wide by a half-metre wide or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

Campfires should not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Anyone who lights a campfire must ensure that sufficient water, tools and people are on hand to contain it. Make sure that the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a 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.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east.

Report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news:

* On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
* On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

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