08/26/2013 09:33 EDT | Updated 10/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Campfire ban lifted across B.C.'s south coast

B.C.'s Ministry of Forests has lifted its campfire ban for the coastal and Kamloops fire regions ahead of what is expected to be a busy Labour Day long weekend at the area's campsites.

A total ban on campfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre and the Coastal Fire Centre outside of Haida Gwaii and "the fog zone" went into effect just ahead of the B.C. Day long weekend, to the dismay of many campers.

But, as of noon Monday, that ban was lifted, and small fires were again permitted in the regions provided they are no larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide.

"The campfire ban is being rescinded due to recent widespread precipitation that has resulted in a decreased risk of wildfires in the region," the ministry said in a news release.

However, it noted that anyone building or tending to a campfire must have either eight litres of water on hand, or a shovel or other similar tool in order to be able to fully extinguish the fire.

B.C.'s campfire regulations also require that an area around the campfire is cleared of twigs and other flammable materials before it is lit; that the fire is never left unattended; and that the ashes are "cool to the touch" before the fire tender leaves the area.

Campfire bans in the Prince George and Cariboo fire centres were lifted last week.

Fireworks, sky lanterns banned

B.C.'s Wildfire Management Branch says fireworks, sky lanterns, burning barrels and small backyard burning piles are still banned in many areas of the province, although some exceptions on the open-burning bans exist within the boundaries of some local governments.

Despite recent rain and a drop in temperatures, an open burning ban remains in effect in the southeast fire region, the branch says.

A violation of the province's burning regulations can mean a ticket of $345, in addition to further penalties, which could include jail time.