05/06/2015 02:12 EDT | Updated 05/06/2016 05:59 EDT

B.C. Ministry of Forests warns public about burning in Cariboo-Chilcotin

People are to blame for wildfires that have burned about 500 hectares of land in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region since April 1 and the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations is warning the public that a prohibition is in effect on open burning.

The Category 3 ban limits the size and amount of burning individuals are allowed to do in the region and will run until the end of September.

"Human-caused fires are always preventable so we're urging the public to be cautious before lighting any fires," said Emily Epp, the fire information officer for the ministry's Wildfire Management Branch in Cariboo-Chilcotin.

People throughout the province are being urged to be careful about lighting fires at this time due to dry conditions, Epp said.

"Even though the spring may seem a safe time to burn there can still be significant risks at this time of year," she said, adding that sometimes fires get out of control due to weather, or dry conditions.

Burning ban

Under the ban in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region, people aren't allowed to burn piles that are bigger than 2 metres high and 3 metres wide, Epp said. If people are burning smaller piles they're not allowed to burn more than two at a time and if people are burning grass it can't be in an area bigger than 0.2 hectares.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin, which includes 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel, is one of six regions covered by the ministry's Wildfire Management Branch. 

The Kamloops region will also have a prohibition come into effect on May 15, Epp said.