Campfire ban lifted

With wet rainy weather in the forecast for the remainder of the week, the province has lifted the ban on campfires.

Campfires are once again allowed throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.

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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.

The use of tiki torches, chimineas, and stoves and portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA-approved or ULC-approved will also be permitted. However, local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, so people should always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.

The current prohibition on larger category 2 and category 3 open fires remains in effect throughout the Coastal Fire Centre.

This includes prohibitions on:

*stubble or grass burning of any size

*the use of sky lanterns

*the use of fireworks (including firecrackers)

*the use of burn barrels or burning cages of any size or description

*the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice).

Since April 1 there have been 135 human-caused wildfires within the Coastal Fire Centre, which is greater than the 10-year average.

Some important campfire safety tips are:

*Have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish a campfire

*Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide

*Do not light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material

*Maintain a fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed

*Never leave a campfire unattended

Ensure that the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cool to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1-888-3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.

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