Blackpress photo

Blackpress photo

Campfires banned across the province, including Smithers

BC Wildfire Service implements burn ban until further notice.

The BC Wildfire Service stated as of 8 a.m. Monday, any type of burning or flame is now prohibited in the Northwest Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. That leaves the entire province of B.C. under a fire ban.

The Town of Smithers has also put an open fire ban into effect.

The Service said the ban will be in effect likely until Oct. 21 or until the public is otherwise notified to help prevent human-caused wildfires. With the current weather conditions and number of wildfires in B.C., their focus will be on existing fires and new, naturally ignited fires.

The Town of Smithers issued a release stating the municipality is under a fire ban, but said fires in cooking stoves using gas propane or briquettes are not part of the prohibition.

All BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands within the west coast to just west of Endako and from the Yukon border to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, are under the ban. It does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has wildfire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department, which is why Smithers enacted its own.

The following activities are not allowed by the Northwest ban: campfires, burning of piles or waste, stubble or grass fires, outdoor stoves burning, use of tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages, and no use of binary exploding targets.

The ban doesn’t apply to approved cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, only if the flame doesn’t exceed 15 centimetres in height.

The Wildfire Service said if anyone is found to be burning under the ban, they can face a $1,150 ticket and 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. And if the fire causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person could be on the hook for firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.