Changes to the B.C. Wildfire Regulation are aimed at clarifying “high-risk activities” and to help prevent human-caused wildfires.
The amendments to the B.C. Wildfire Regulation, under the Wildfire Act, were approved by the provincial government on April 24. The regulation applies throughout B.C., unless otherwise indicated in the legislation.
The changes are meant to clarify responsibilities related to high-risk activities and open fire use within provincial jurisdictions and help prevent human-caused wildfires. Those changes include: a definition of an outdoor stove, which is CSA-rated or ULC-rated device used outdoors for cooking, heat or ambiance that burns charcoal briquettes, liquid fuel or gaseous fuel, and has a flame height that is less than 15 cm tall.
Previously, the regulation described how to safely use outdoor stoves, but didn’t define what an outdoor stove was.
Another change is that an open fire must remain in control at all times, even if the fire is still within the fuel break.” If it becomes out of control, the person must carry out fire control immediately and extinguish and report the fire.
However, an out of control fire is not defined in the regulation and is dependent on the situation.
When it comes to fire watchers, the regulation has been amended to clarify that the watch starts immediately after the high-risk activity ends. The duration of the fire watch is dependent on the fire danger class, which has not changed with the new amendments.
New are the First Nations woodland licences in the definition of a qualified holder. The First Nations woodland licence was created in the Forest Act in 2011, but was not included in the Wildfire Regulation as a qualified holder.
A fact sheet on the changes can be found here.