Parksville/Fraser Valley – To no one’s surprise with the change in the weather , effective at noon on Friday, September 29, 2017, all open fires will once again be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, since recent rainfall and cooler temperatures have reduced wildfire risks in the region.

The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from 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.

Category 2 open fires and Category 3 open fires will be permitted, as well as the use of tiki torches, burn barrels, fireworks, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets. The campfire ban that was in place in the Coastal Fire Centre this summer was lifted on September 18, 2017.

Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, so people should always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.

Anyone lighting a Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717. A Category 3 fire is a fire that burns material more than two metres high or three metres wide, stubble or grass over more than 2,000 square metres, or more than two piles of any size.

A poster explaining the different categories of open fires is available online at: http://ow.ly/jdO5301kS32

Anyone who lights a fire must comply with B.C.’s air quality control legislation. The BC Wildfire Service urges people to take the following precautions with any permitted outdoor burning:

  • Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and stop it escaping.
  • Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Create a fire guard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure that your fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, 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, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

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