Dry conditions in at least some parts of southeastern B.C. have led the Southeast Fire Centre to ba Category 3 open fires.
The ban was effective on noon on Friday, June 3rand the accompanying press release from the Southeast Fire Centre said the move was an effort to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.
“Other areas of the Southeast Fire Centre are probably drier than the Upper Columbia Valley. It always come sooner or later, but with the wet conditions we’ve had here, I was surprised to see it as soon as we have,” said Columbia Valley rural fire and rescue services fire chief Jim Miller. “We’re actually in pretty good shape here, and they (the Southeast Fire Centre) are simply taking precautions about bigger fires.”
Category 3 fires include any fires that are larger than two metres high or three metres wides, any group of two or more fires, and grass fires larger than 2,000 square metres.
The prohibition does not apply to campfires, burn barrelsr other open fires smaller than two metres high by three metres wide, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
The Southeast Fire Centre is asking that fires not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions, that adequate tools, water and people are on hand to contain the fire, and that people ensure fires are fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
The prohibition covers all B.C. Parks, and Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of municipal governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, 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, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.