Starting at noon on Friday, Category 2 and Category 3 open burns will be banned throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.
Category 2 and Category 3 open fires include the following:
- A fire larger than two meters high by three meters wide.
- Three or more piles burning at the same time, no larger than the size mentioned above.
- Burning off one or more windrows.
- Burning of grass and stubble over an area larger than 0.2 hectares.
- Sky lanterns
- Burn barrels
- Burn cages
That said, campfires less than half a meter in any direction and cooking stoves that use gas, propane, or briquettes are not banned for the time being.
The ban would include the entire Kootenay region, from the Cranbrook Fire Zone in the east to the Boundary Fire Zone in the west and north to the Columbia Fire Zone.
Officials with the BC Wildfire Service said the prohibition is meant to prevent any wildfires and protect public safety.
Breaking the fire ban could result in steep fines, with a ticket for up to $1,150, a $10,000 administrative penalty, or, if convicted in court, up to $100,000 and/or a one-year jail sentence.