The Southeast Fire Centre is keeping a close eye on regional weather patterns to monitor the growing potential for wildfires in the East Kootenay.
Category 3 and Category 2 burning prohibitions are currently in place across the region, which places restrictions on open burning. Any fire larger than 0.5 metres high and 0.5 metres wide is prohibited, along with the burning of any stubble or grass, and the use of items such as burn barrels or burn cages, air curtain burners, sky lanterns, fireworks and binary exploding targets.
As of July 30, 2019, the Southeast Fire Centre has a “moderate” to “low” Fire Danger Rating as per the BC Wildfire Service.
Ashley Davidoff, Fire Information Officer with the BC Wildfire Service, said campfires are still permitted given they stay within the permitted size, but that further prohibitions could come into effect if conditions worsen.
“We reevaluate that consistently and then make those decisions as they unfold,” Davidoff told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “When evaluating when to put on a prohibition, we consider a number of factors which include the level of fire activity we’re seeing, current and forecasted weather conditions for example, if we’re experiencing lightning or hot dry spells.”
Davidoff said they are making sure that wildfire crews are readily available to immediately respond to any wildfire threats across the East Kootenay, but that it remains up to the public to be wildfire conscious and take necessary precautions.
“We’re really just encouraging everyone, just when they are lighting a fire that is allowable, so if they are lightning a campfire at this time, just to use extreme caution. Never burn when it’s windy and always make sure that the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area at any time.”
Davidoff said a full campfire ban is possible but would only be imposed after consultations with several other agencies.
All wildfire activity including smoke and wildfire violations should be immediately reported to the BC Wildfire Service either at by calling toll-free at 1-800663-5555 or by call *5555 on a cell phone.