PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Residents in the Prince George Fire Centre, which includes Northeast B.C., are now unable to conduct category two and category three open fires.

The ban came into effect at noon on Thursday.

Last week, the BC Wildfire Service said the reasoning behind the ban was due to the weather forecast calling for warmer, drier conditions, presenting a fire danger.

The Peace region is currently under a heat warning, with daytime high temperatures expected to reach near 29 to 32 degrees Celsius over the next couple of days.

Both Fort St. John and Dawson Creek set historical heat records for July 27th. Fort St. John saw a high of 31.7 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, while Dawson Creek set a new record at 32.2 degrees Celsius.

Campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller are still allowed. The ban also does not apply to CSA-approved or ULC-approved cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

Prohibited activities include:

  • Burning of any waste, slash or other materials
  • Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
  • The use of burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
  • The use of sky lanterns, tiki torches or fireworks
  • The use of stoves and other portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA-approved or ULC-approved

A poster outlining campfire regulations is available online.

Prohibitions apply to all public and private lands unless otherwise specified.

“Anyone found in contravention of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, may be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be 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,” the PGFC said in a statement.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone or through the BC Wildfire Service mobile app.