Mid-summer heatwave leads to campfire ban in Coastal Fire Centre

Denise Titian, July 17, 2018
Coastal British Columbia — 

A week-long heatwave has raised the fire danger rating to high or extreme over the majority of the province of British Columbia, prompting the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, BC Wildfire Service, to announce a campfire ban for the Coastal Fire Centres jurisdiction.

“Effective at noon on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, all open burning (including campfires and Category 3 fires) will be prohibited within the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the area known as the fog zone.”

All of Vancouver Island is included in the ban with the exception of the fog zone. The West Coast Fog Zone is defined as all land running inland two kilometers, starting at Owen Point, northwest of Port Renfrew to the northern tip of Vancouver Island at the boundary of the District of Port Hardy (see map).

The Coastal Fire Centre is implementing these prohibitions due to high temperatures and no rain in the immediate forecast.

They will remain in effect until Oct. 19, 2018, or until the public is otherwise notified. A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://ow.ly/j94230kZQgz

These prohibitions do 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 or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

The following activities are also prohibited:

* Open fires that burn woody debris in outdoor stoves

* The use of stoves and other portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA-approved or ULC-approved

* The use of tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, chimineas (outdoor fire place), burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description

* The use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for rifle target practice)

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, 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.