B.C.'s first fire ban of 2011 will go into effect on Monday, when open fires will be restricted in the Cariboo fire region, located in the central interior of the province.
Despite the cool wet spring in most of the province, since April 7 there have already been 11 wildfires in the region and all were attributed to human causes, according to the B.C. Forest Service.
The ban will prohibit any open fires larger than one square metre, along with burning barrels, fireworks, and grass or stubble burns. But campfires will still be permitted and there are no restrictions on backcountry access.
The restriction covers all B.C. parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department.
Last summer B.C.'s forest fires consumed the province's entire $52-million firefighting budget by the beginning of August, when an estimated 400 fires were burning across the province, costing the upward of $6 million a day.