Starting at noon Thursday, category two open burns will be prohibited on Vancouver Island and all of the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.
The prohibition applies to:
- the burning of any material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres high and three metres wide;
- the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square metres;
- the use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description; and
- the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for rifle target practice).
The province says the prohibition is in placed to reduce the risk of wildfires and to protect public safety, and will be in effect until the public is notified of a change.
The province says anyone lighting a campfire must have a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the area and have a hand tool, or at least eight litres of water nearby to extinguish the fire.
Anyone found to have an open burn under prohibition may be issued a $1,150 ticket, required to pay up to $10,000 for an administrative penalty or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or a one year jail sentence.
The wildfire service says if the contravention of the prohibition leads to a wildfire, the person responsible may have to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The prohibition does not apply to larger Category three fires or to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller.
It also does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.