**With files from the Province of BC & Southeast Fire Centre
Castlegar, BC (May 16, 2023) -- Effective at 1pm MT on Thursday, May 18, 2023, Category 2 and 3 open burning will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, which includes the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District and the Selkirk Natural Resource District.
The BC Wildfire Service is implementing this prohibition to help prevent wildfires caused by Category 2 and 3 open burning and to protect public safety. A map indicating the areas affected by this prohibition is available online.
This prohibition will remain in place until Oct. 28, 2023 or until the public is otherwise notified.
Specifically, this prohibition refers to the following activities:
"category 2 open fire" which means an open fire, other than a category 1 campfire, that
- burns material in one pile not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width,
- burns material concurrently in 2 piles each not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width, or
- burns stubble or grass over an area that does not exceed 0.2 ha.
"category 3 open fire" which means an open fire that burns
- material concurrently in 3 or more piles each not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width,
- material in one or more piles each exceeding 2 m in height or 3 m in width,
- one or more windrows, each not exceeding 200 m in length or 15 m in width,
- stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 ha.
Also prohibited are the activities listed below (Wildfire Act, Section 12):
- Sky Lanterns;
- Binary Exploding Targets;
- Burn Barrels or Burn Cages of any size or description; and,
- Air Curtain Burners.
This prohibition does not apply to Category 1 - Campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane, or briquettes.
More information on the different categories and sizes of open burning is available online.
Anyone conducting a Category 2 or 3 fire anywhere in the Southeast Fire Centre's jurisdiction must extinguish it by noon PDT on the Thursday, May 18, 2023 deadline.
This prohibition applies to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise (e.g., in a local government bylaw). Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire 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 would like to thank the public for its continuing help in preventing wildfires. To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 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: bcwildfire.ca
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