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Open burning ban now in effect for parts of Northwest Fire Centre

Fireworks and burn barrels are included in the ban, small campfires are still allowed

A fire ban is now in effect for open fires across the Bulkley Fire Zone and Nadina Fire Zone, including Smithers. The Nadina Forest District and the Skeena portion of the Skeena/Stikine Forest District are also affected.

The scheduled ban, which came into effect at 12 p.m. on March 28, prohibits Category 2 and 3 open burning.

Fireworks, sky lanterns, and burn barrels are all prohibited under the ban; however, campfires that are less than a half-metre wide and a half-metre tall, and the use of cooking stoves that utilize gas, propane, or briquettes are allowed.

B.C. Wildfire Service said in a statement that the ban will “prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.”

The prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply to a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department.

Anyone found violating the ban may be penalized, which could include being issued $1,150, an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, a fine of up to $100,000 and/or one year in jail.

If a fire in breach of the ban contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs, as well as the value of resources damaged or destroyed by the wildfire.

The B.C. Wildfire Service currently lists 98 active fires burning across the province, with the majority being marked as ‘Under Control’ or ‘Being Held.’

Of the 98 active fires, 87 are holdover fires. These are fires that can remain dormant or undetected for a long time.

According to the Wildfire Service, large fires and those caused by lightning are prone to becoming holdover fires. The heat from these fires can build under the ground’s surface, causing flares as temperatures rise and land dries out.

This prohibition remains in place until 12 p.m. on Sept. 28, or until the public is notified otherwise. This type of ban is also in effect for the Prince George Fire Centre and Cariboo Fire Centre.

To report a wildfire, or open burning violation, residents can call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. Up-to-date information on wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories can be found by calling 1 888 3-FOREST or visiting

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