Coastal ban on campfires amidst high wildfire risk

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With Salt Spring at a high fire danger level, the BC Wildfire Service is banning campfires across the B.C. coast except for Haida Gwaii. 

The ban applies to all BC Parks, Crown and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre region, which stretches from the U.S.-Canadian border at Manning Park west to Haida Gwaii. While the ban may not apply for some local governments within their areas, Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue informed Salt Spring Islanders that the ban is in place across the island. 

The fire danger level is high on the island. This means the fire risk is serious, the department stated, and forest fuels are very dry. “New fires may start easily, burn vigorously, and challenge fire suppression efforts. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities.” For more detail on the fire danger level, visit the fire department’s website.

Exceptions to the ban include “cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or portable campfire devices that use briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, provided they are CSA or ULC approved, and the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres,” the service stated in a Aug. 2 notification. 

All fires classed Category 2 and 3 by the wildfire service, including backyard and industrial burning, were banned as of July 15. Other fire-related activities are also banned, including fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets, burn barrels or burn cages and air curtain burners. 

Breaking the fire ban could result in a $1,150 ticket or the possibility of a $100,000 fine as well as, or, one year in jail if convicted in court. If the breaking of the fire ban causes or contributes to a wildfire, a person could face a $100,000 penalty and be ordered to cover all firefighting and related costs.

The ban will remain in place until Oct. 28 or until it is rescinded.

To report a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a mobile phone. For up-to-date status of specific wildfires, road closures and more, visit the BC Wildfire website.

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