A burn ban is being issued that will prohibit campfires, open burning, fireworks, tiki torches and more in Ladysmith, Chemainus and nearly all of Vancouver Island.
Beginning tomorrow (Thursday, July 17) at noon, all open burning (including campfires, Category 2 open fires and Category 3 open fires) will be prohibited in all areas of the Coastal Fire Centre, which includes Ladysmith, Chemainus and the surrounding areas. The “fog zone” on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and Haida Gwaii are not included in the ban.
“This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety,” states a press release from the Coastal Fire Centre. “The fire danger rating is currently ‘high’ throughout most of the Coastal Fire Centre, with scattered pockets of ‘extreme.'”
The Coastal Fire Centre covers the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including South Tweedsmuir Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, all of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
This prohibition will remain in place until Oct. 15 or until the public is notified that it has been rescinded. A map of the areas affected by the prohibition is available online.
This prohibition applies to campfires and open burning of any size or description, including fires with a burn registration number and industrial burning. The use of fireworks, burning barrels, tiki torches and sky lanterns is also prohibited.
The prohibition does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres, according to the press release.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments.
Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.
“With the current trend of warm and dry weather, as well as lightning-caused wildfires in the region, human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews needed to fight naturally-occurring wildfires,” states the Coastal Fire Centre.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air
quality advisories, click here.