Fire pits, campfires banned in Fort St. John, Taylor, and Charlie Lake

Fort St. John, Taylor, and Charlie Lake have all expanded a province-wide ban on campfires to their municipal boundaries.

The bans are in effect until further notice, and no campfires or fire pits will be allowed as hot and dry conditions continue to scorch the province.

Both Charlie Lake and Taylor have also banned the use of fireworks.

Earlier today, the province issued a province-wide ban on all campfires in BC Parks, Crown land, and private lands.

“We work very closely with the Ministry of Forests, and they are the experts on wild land fires,” said Taylor Fire Chief Alan Stebbing.

“If they’re going to institute a ban around the district, we tend to feel it’s important to support them in that and extend the ban within the district as well.”

This ban includes:

* open fires of any size, including campfires;

* the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and tiki torches;

* burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description;

* the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for rifle target practice); and

* the use of air curtain burners (forced-air burning systems).

The bans do not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. It also does not apply to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, with a flame length of 15 centimetres or less.

A ban on all Category 2 and 3 open fires was put in to effect earlier this week.

Municipalities usually have discretion over extending fire bans within city limits under fire prevention bylaws and fire department services.

“We’re going to be doing education more than enforcement to let people know the ban is back on and includes campfires,” said Charlie Lake Fire Chief Terry Truchan.

“Any place we see an open fire, we’re just going to ask them to extinguish it, and give them a copy of the ban, and explain the consequences if we have to come back.”

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.

If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.