Category 3 open fires restricted in Cariboo Fire Centre

Campfires, small open fires still allowed, caution urged

At noon on May 16, Category 3 open fires were prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre (CFC).

The fire ban is intended to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

The prohibition will be in place until Sept. 30, or until the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations lifts the ban.

Specifically, this order prohibits fires that burn:

• Material concurrently in three or more piles, each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width.

• Material in one or more piles, each exceeding two metres in height or three metres in width.

• One or more windrows.

• Stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 hectares (more than 2,000 square metres).

This ban doesn’t apply to campfires, cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or open fires that are two metres by three metres or smaller.

People should ensure that such fires are not lit or kept burning during windy conditions and adequate tools, water and people are on hand to contain the fire. They should also make sure the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

This prohibition covers all BC Parks and Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments.

Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.

So far this season, the Cariboo Fire Centre has responded to 44 fires – the vast majority were human-caused and completely preventable.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, or if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The CFC stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton north to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel, east to Wells Gray Provincial Park and west to Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

Folks can also follow the latest wildfire news on:

• Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

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