Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be banned throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, including the South Cariboo, starting at noon on Monday, June 19.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, the bans are to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.
Category 2 fires include bonfires or burning piles larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide, while category three fires include any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide.
The prohibitions include the burning of any waste, slash or other material; stubble or grass fires of any size over any area; the use of burning barrels or burning cages of any size; the use of sky lanterns; the use of exploding binary targets; and fireworks.
The bans do not include campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller and do not apply to cooking stoves, gas, propane or briquettes.
The BC Wildfire Service says the bans are in response to current weather conditions and the long-range weather forecast for the region.
Category 3 open fires have been banned throughout the fire centre since April, but both bans will remain in place until September 30, 2017, unless the fire centre decides otherwise.
The ban applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.
The penalty for disobeying the prohibition may include a ticket amounting up to $1,150, an administrative penalty of $10,000 or if charged and convicted in court, a fine up to $100,000 and or a sentence of one year in jail.
The fire centre also notes that if banned fire causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.