Complete Fire/Campfire Ban In Coastal/Fraser Valley Area

PARKSVILLE – Effective at noon on Thursday, July 2, 2015, the existing campfire ban in the Coastal Fire Centre will be expanded to include all areas within the fire centre’s jurisdiction, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the area known as the “Fog Zone”.

The Coastal Fire Centre is expanding its campfire ban due to continued hot and dry conditions, and because there is no precipitation in the weather forecast. The public’s assistance is requested to help reduce the number of human-caused fires and to enable crews to respond to naturally occurring wildfires.

This prohibition does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid fuel or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. The Coastal Fire Centre previously allowed the use of briquettes in established campfire rings in campgrounds, but as of noon on Thursday, briquettes may be used only in ULC-approved or CSA-approved devices, due to the extreme fire danger.

Category 2 and 3 open fires are currently restricted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, including Haida Gwaii and the “Fog Zone”. The use of burning barrels, burning cages, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets is also prohibited.

A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://bit.ly/1RQmI5K

The Fog Zone is a two-kilometre-wide strip along the outer coast of Vancouver Island, stretching from Owen Point (near Port Renfrew) north to the tip of Vancouver Island and around to the boundary of the District of Port Hardy. This strip extends inland two kilometres from the high-tide point. A map of the Fog Zone is available online at: http://bit.ly/1GMvwnU

This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, 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 Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range north of the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.

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

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit the BC Wildfire Service website: www.bcwildfire.ca

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