Following warmer and drier temperatures across the region, the Cariboo Fire Centre has issued a Category 2 fire ban that comes into effect at noon this Friday, July 31.
The move means the only open fires allowed will be campfires no bigger than half a metre wide and half a metre high, as allowed by Category 1. Cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes are also allowed.
The BC Wildfire Service said the prohibition is being enacted to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. To date, there have been 31 wildfires with 45 hectares burned – lower than the 10-year average of 96 wildfires with 30,412 hectares burned, said communications specialist Jessica Mack.
The prohibition will remain in effect until noon on Sept. 30 or until the public is notified. Category 3 open fires remain prohibited throughout the region. Prohibited activities include the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches and burn barrels.
Anyone caught open burning risks a ticket for $1,150, an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or fines of $100,000 or a jail term if convicted in court.
The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.
More information on wildfire activity and current burning restrictions can be found on the bcwildfire.ca website.
If you see smoke or would like to report a wildfire, call 1 800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cellphone.