Wednesday July 21, 2010
The Heat Is On
Campfire ban now in effect Friday for all provincial parks
ffective noon July 23, all open burning, including campfires and fireworks, will be prohibited across the Coastal Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. This ban applies to open fires of any size, campfires, fireworks, tiki torches and burning barrels. The ban does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating using briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, that are not capable of producing a flame longer than 15 centimetres. Portable campfire apparatus that do not meet these conditions are prohibited.
This prohibition is necessary due to dry forest fuels and a forecast for a prolonged period without substantial rain. The public is urged to exercise caution on forested land with any activity that could lead to a wildfire. Please discard cigarettes carefully and limit movement of ATVs and motorcycles through tall grass and undergrowth.
This ban covers all BC Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with civic authorities for any restrictions before lighting a fire.
Campfires in the West Vancouver Island Fog Zone are exempt from this prohibition. The West Vancouver Island Fog Zone is a stretch of land two kilometres inland from the high-tide mark from Owen Point in the south, northward along the outer coast of Vancouver Island, around Cape Scott Provincial Park and southward to the boundary of the District of Port Hardy.
A map of the exempt area is available here.
Anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for $345. Should a wildfire occur as a result of recklessness, a person can be fined up to $1 million, or spend three years in prison and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The ban will be in place until the public is otherwise notified.
The Coastal Fire Centre is responsible for wildfire response for about 2.1 million hectares of land. Geographically, the centre covers all the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain range from the U.S./Canada border at Manning Park to Tweedsmuir Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, all of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
The Fraser Zone is in the Coastal Fire Centre's most populated area. This zone is in the lower mainland and includes Vancouver, Chilliwack and Abbotsford. It extends east into the Fraser Valley and includes Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon, the Coquihalla toll booths on Hwy 5 and all of Manning Park.
The Fraser Zone has three fire bases. Haig Fire Base in Hope has three, three-person initial attack crews and one 20-person unit crew. The Abbotsford base has one 20-person unit crew and one three-person IA crew and is located in the same facility as the Abbotsford Air Tanker dispatch and reload centre. A third base in Boston Bar is used seasonally.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire please call *5555 on your cellphone or toll-free to 1 800 663-5555.
For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca.
For Facebook and Twitter updates, as well as details about evacuation orders and alerts, road conditions and air quality advisories, go to www.firesafebc.ca.
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