POWELL RIVER, B.C. – As the weather warms up, the City of Powell River is reminding residents that there is a year-round ban on camp fires, beach fires and backyard burning within municipal boundaries

However, backyard burning is allowed in April and November with a permit in Powell River, while the only outdoor fires allowed are at Willingdon Beach Campsite.

Violators face a $200 fine.

The penalties for breaking provincial bans are severe, with fines that could include paying the entire cost of the fire.

In the qathet Regional District, bans vary, according to regional district manager of emergency services, Ryan Thoms.

Savary Island and Van Anda and Gillies Bay on Texada Island have their own local bylaws.

“Most of the rural areas outside the city have no local burning bylaws so all outdoor burning is regulated by the BC Wildfire Act and Regulations,” Thoms noted.

“This time of year, there are generally few if any restrictions in the rural areas, but the restrictions will vary throughout the region as the weather warms up based on local conditions and local/provincial regulations.”

Thoms said the best guidance is to always check with the authority in the area when planning to have a beach fire, campfire or other burns.