As of Monday, July 29, 2019, Category 2 open burning will be prohibited across the Southeast Fire Centre, impacting the entire East Kootenay.
The BC Wildfire Service said they are implementing the prohibition in order to prevent wildfires sparked by open burning and to protect public safety.
“Anyone conducting a Category 2 open burn anywhere within the Southeast Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by the deadline,” said the BC Wildfire Service. “This prohibition is in addition to the Category 3 open burning prohibition that was put in place throughout the Southeast Fire Centre on June 12, 2019.”
The Category 2 open burning ban will remain in effect until the BC Wildfire Service notifies the public of any changes.
Small campfires and the use of gas cooking stoves, propane, or briquettes are not under fire ban at this time.
“Campfires should not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Anyone who lights a campfire must ensure that sufficient water, tools and people are on hand to contain it. 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.”
Open fires larger than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high fall under Category 2.
The BC Wildfire Service explains that besides the fire size, the burning of stubble or grass and the use of burn barrels or burn cages, sky lanterns, fireworks, air curtain burners, or binary exploding targets are all under the Category 2 prohibition.
“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 BC Wildfire Service. “If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.”
All public and private lands are affected by the Category 2 open burning ban.
The BC Wildfire Service reminds the public that if they see a wildfire, an open burning violation, or an unattended campfire to call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 to report it.