A ban on Category 2 open fires is coming into effect Thursday at noon throughout the Coastal Fire Centre area. Image from BC Wildfire Service

UPDATED: Category 2 fire ban coming to B.C.’s south coast on Thursday

Ban covers backyard burns, debris burning

A ban on Category 2 open fires is coming into effect Thursday at noon, the Coastal Fire Centre has confirmed.

The ban will apply throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, said fire information officer Marg Drysdale.

“Category 2 is largely backyard burning or debris burning,” she said. “Those are going to be prohibited.”

In a media release, she said the prohibition applies to “the burning of any material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres high and three metres wide” and “the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square metres.”

The ban also covers “fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description,” along with “the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for rifle target practice).”

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Campfires will still be allowed – those are defined as any fire half a metre high and half a metre wide or smaller – along with cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

Category 3 burns, which are larger industrial fires that require a registration number, are also still allowed.

“We also do site visits and monitor those very carefully,” Drysdale said.

The prohibition applies to all public and private land unless specified otherwise, for example, in a local government bylaw, she said.

“Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire,” she said, noting that a poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs.

The Coastal Fire Centre includes roughly 16.5 million hectares of land in southwest B.C., including the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.


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