FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) has reversed its decision to rescind the campfire ban in the Prince George Fire Centre.
On Sunday afternoon, the BCWS announced the Category 1 Open Burning (campfires) Prohibition issued on June 8th would be rescinded at noon on Monday. Just a few hours later, on Sunday evening, the BCWS announced “upon further review and with the ongoing wildfire activity within the province,” the prohibition will remain in effect.
The fire service determined the complete Open Burning Prohibition will remain in effect in the Prince George Fire Centre until October 15th.
The prohibition includes Category 1,2 and 3 fires.
Category 1 campfires are defined as a fire no larger than 0.5 metres wide high and 0.5 metres wide. A fire larger than this is considered a Category 2 fire.
Category 2 fires refer to fires in a pile exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width and stubble or grass over an area that doesn’t exceed 0.2 hectares.
Category 3 open fires are one or more piles exceeding two metres in height or three metres in width; windrows not exceeding 200 metres in length or 15 metres in width; and stubble or grass over an area that doesn’t exceed 0.2 hectares.
In addition to the above open-fire prohibitions, the following activities remain prohibited:
- Sky Lanterns
- Burn Barrels or Burn Cages of any size or description
- Binary exploding targets
- Air Curtain Burners
- Tiki and similar kinds of torches
The BCWS says it considers multiple factors when deciding whether to implement an open fire prohibition, including current and forecasted weather conditions, availability of firefighting resources, and the Buildup Index (BUI).
The BUI rating is an estimate of the total amount of fuel available for combustion on the landscape and also takes into account the fuel’s moisture content since it can affect fire intensity.
Anyone conducting open burns during a ban could face a $1,150 ticket, may be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000, or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to a 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.
More information about Open Burning Prohibitions and active fires within the Prince George Fire Centre can be found on the BCWS website.