NEWS

B.C. campfire ban expanded to include Okanagan and Kamloops area, open fire ban in the Cariboo region

06/30/2015 05:42 EDT | Updated 06/30/2016 05:59 EDT
Three days after a campfire ban went into effect across parts of B.C.'s South Coast, the ban has expanded to include all the rest of the southern interior of the province to the Alberta border beginning this weekend. 

Open fires will be banned in the Cariboo Fire Centre and the Prince George Fire Centre starting July 2. 

The Southeast Fire Centre covers the area extending from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west, to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. It also includes the Selkirk Forest District and the Rocky Mountain Forest District.

According to a news release from the B.C. Wildfire Service, the campfire ban is to "help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety."

The Southeast Fire Centre campfire ban does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. 

The Cariboo Fire Centre open fire ban stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park to Wells Gray Provincial Park.

The category 2 and 3 fire bans in the Cariboo region mean campfires are still allowed as long as they are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller.

 "The Cariboo Fire Centre is experiencing drier-than-normal conditions and elevated fire danger ratings," said fire information officer Emily Epp in a news release. "These prohibitions are being implemented due to current weather conditions and the long-range forecast."

Coastal Fire Centre campfire ban expands

Last week, campfires were banned across B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands south of Knight Inlet on the mainland,

On Vancouver Island, the ban covers everywhere south of Robson Bight, south of the Nimpkish Valley and south of Nordstrom Creek.

Effective July 2, the existing campfire ban will be expanded to include all areas within the fire centre's jurisdiction, including Northern Vancouver Island and the mid-coast portion of the mainland.

Haida Gwaii and an area known as the "Fog Zone" near Port Renfrew are exempt from the ban. 

Fire officials said hot and dry conditions and a lack of precipitation in the weather forecast prompted the expanded ban. 

Anyone found in contravention of the ban can be issued a ticket for $345, may be 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.

They could also be liable for all firefighting costs should their campfire contribute to a wildfire

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