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Coastal Fire Centre to rescind open burning prohibitions

The Coastal Fire Centre is lifting its open burning ban, starting tomorrow at noon.

However, there is a very important caveat to keep in mind.

Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, and you should always check with local authorities before lighting fires of any size.

Fire Information Officer, Dorthe Jakobsen, said recent rainfall has reduced the wildfire risk.

“It’s been a very wet couple of months so the fire danger rating is low,” she said.

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Jakobsen added that the prohibition can be enforced again at any time: “If the fire danger rating reaches a critical threshold we can put it back on and we typically do in the summer months.”

You’re asked to burn responsibly, and to follow guidance to ensure their burning is conducted in a safe manner. 

While the BC Wildfire Service has developed protocols for staff to safely respond to wildfires and reduce the risk from COVID-19, you’re asked to reduce the likelihood of a forest fire.

This rescind means that campfires, Category 2 and 3 open fires and Resource Management Burning are permitted everywhere across the centre. 

The following fire-related activities are now allowed:

  • the use of burning barrels and burning cages
  •  the use of air curtain burners.
  • the use of binary exploding targets.
  • the use of sky lanterns.
  • the use of fireworks, including firecrackers.

Anyone lighting a Category 3 open fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717. 

A Category 3 open fire is a fire that burns material more than two metres high or three metres wide, stubble or grass of more than 2,000 square metres, or more than two piles of any size. 

Anyone who lights a fire must comply with B.C.’s air quality control legislation. 

The BC Wildfire Service urges you to take the following precautions:

  • Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and stop it from escaping.
  • Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly, and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure that the fire is fully extinguished, and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S. — Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 tollfree or *5555 on a cellphone.

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