08/26/2013 05:44 EDT | Updated 10/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Campfire Ban In Coastal B.C. Lifted


VANCOUVER - The Ministry of Forests has lifted a ban on campfires across a wide swath of coastal British Columbia stretching west of the Coast Mountains, south to the U.S. border and north to Haida Gwaii.

The ban was lifted at noon Monday because of a decreased risk of wildfires and means people can now light campfires no larger than half a metre high by half a metre wide.

But the ministry says campers must also have a hand tool, such as a shovel, and eight litres of water handy to extinguish any flames.

Residents can also light fires two metres high by three metres wide and burn hay or leaves, along with grassy areas larger than two square kilometres, by getting a burn registration number from the province.

Small backyard burning piles are prohibited, except on Haida Gwaii and a two-kilometre wide strip on the west coast of Vancouver Island known as the fog zone.

Anyone who violates open-burning rules can be given a $345 ticket, an if convicted in court fined up to $100,000 and handed a one-year jail term.

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