PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. -The Prince George Fire Centre (PGFC) has announced that effective on Friday, Category 2 and 3 open burnings will be prohibited.

With high temperatures expected in the Peace Region’s forecast, this can cause increased fire danger ratings. The fire ban will remain in effect until October 15th, 2021 or until the order is rescinded.

In addition to Category 2 and 3 open fires, the ban includes fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels, and burn cages of any size or description.

The ban, however, does not include campfires that are half a metre high by half a metre wide or smaller. It also does not include cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

The fire ban applies to all public and private lands unless otherwise specified. Make sure to check with the local government for restrictions before lighting any fire.

Those who chose to breach the fire ban may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, may be required to pay an administrative penalty up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, could be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If a wildfire is caused or contributed to by a fire during the ban, the person responsible may be ordered to pay for firefighting and associated costs.

The PGFC also released a map including the areas for fire bans and can be found here.

The Province also made an announcement that encouraged those participating in Canada Day festivities to exercise caution to prevent human-caused wildfires.

“Canada Day often means spending time outside with family and friends enjoying our beautiful province,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “However, we all must ensure that our outdoor activities are respectful of the environment and don’t spark a wildfire that could put people in harm’s way.”

Around 88 per cent of wildfires that have taken place since April were human-caused. Meaning these fires were completely preventable, put extra demands on crucial firefighting resources and unnecessarily increased the workload of BC Wildfire Service crews.

More information on Fire Bans can be found on the Province’s website.