The B.C. Wildfire Service is amending Category 2 and 3 open burning prohibitions across the Southeast Fire Centre due to a decrease in wildfire risk.

As of 1:00 pm MST on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, Category 2 open burning is once again permitted throughout the Southeast Fire Centre.

“A Category 2 open burn permits: one or two concurrently burning piles, no larger than two metres high by three metres wide, and the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares,” said the B.C. Wildfire Service. “The use of fireworks, burn barrels, burn cages, sky lanterns and exploding binary targets will also be allowed.”

Meanwhile, Category 3 open burning will still be prohibited and remain in effect for the Cranbrook and Invermere fire zones, as well as Kootenay Boundary.

That means any fire than two metres high by three metres wide, the burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares, three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide, and burning of one or more windrows remains prohibited.

Although, the Category 3 open burning prohibitions are being lifted Tuesday for the Columbia Lake, Arrow, and Kootenay Lake fire zones within the Southeast Fire Centre.

With the recent amendments, the B.C. Wildfire Service is still warning the public about being cautious when conducting open burning, providing the following reminders:

  • Check the local venting index (Venting Index)
    • The venting index must be “good” on the day the fire is lit and “good” or “fair” for the following day
  • Follow the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation
  • Use safe burning practices
    • Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material
    • Never leave a fire unattended
    • Make sure that the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time
  • Anyone planning to conduct a Category 3 burn must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time (at no charge) by calling 1 888 797-1717
    • Burn registration numbers are entered in the Open Fire Tracking System, which allows the BC Wildfire Service to track open burning activity throughout B.C.
  • Check with local authorities (e.g. fire department, municipality or regional district) for any local restrictions or regulations.

“Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail,” said the B.C. Wildfire Service. “If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs, as well as the value of resources damaged or destroyed by the wildfire.”

Map of the Southeast Fire Centre and the amended open burning prohibitions effective at 1:00 pm MST Tuesday, September 10, 2019.