No more s'mores: campfire ban in most of western B.C. comes into effect Wednesday
High temperatures, no rain in forecast prompt wildfire service to prohibit open burning in Coastal Fire Centre
All open burning, including campfires, will be banned in most of western B.C. effective Wednesday at noon PT.
The B.C. Wildfire Service says the ban applies within the Coastal Fire Centre, which extends northwest from E.C. Manning Provincial Park to Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park and includes the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands.
Haida Gwaii and the two kilometre-wide band known as the fog zone along the west coast of Vancouver Island are currently exempt from the ban.
Effective Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at noon: all open burning - including campfires, to be prohibited in the Coastal Fire Centre (excluding Haida Gwaiii and the Fog Zone) in order to prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. Full details: <a href="https://t.co/osLqWBZ0VP">https://t.co/osLqWBZ0VP</a> <a href="https://t.co/gULWQzy0Jc">pic.twitter.com/gULWQzy0Jc</a>—@BCGovFireInfo
'Human-caused wildfires are entirely preventable'
The wildfire service says the ban is being put in place due to high temperatures and a short-term weather forecast that shows no rain.
Human-caused wildfires have been responsible for 69 per cent of wildfires in the Coastal Fire Centre since April 1, the B.C. Wildfire Service said in a release.
"Human-caused wildfires are entirely preventable, and can divert critical firefighting resources away from naturally occurring wildfires," the release said.
Substantial lightning activity across B.C. has led to a busy evening. 38 new wildfires began today - this number is expected to rise as more are discovered tomorrow. Urgent updates to be posted as needed overnight, otherwise new information to be provided tomorrow.—@BCGovFireInfo
All public and private land is subject to the ban, which also extends to the use of non-CSA or ULC approved stoves or campfire apparatuses, tiki torches, fireworks or sky lanterns.
The ban will remain in place until Oct. 19, or until otherwise notified.
Anyone caught violating the prohibition may be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. In the case that illegal burning causes or contributes to a wildfire, those responsible could be ordered to pay for all firefighting and related costs.