More burning prohibitions being lifted
Effective at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19, Category 2 open fires will once again be permitted throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, including the East Kootenay.
At the same time, Category 3 open fires will once again be permitted in the Columbia, Arrow, Kootenay Lake, Invermere and Cranbrook fire zones. Category 3 open fires remain prohibited in the Boundary Fire Zone.
Category 2 burning allows one or two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide, or stubble or grass burning over an area of less than 0.2 hectares. The use of the following items will also be allowed: fireworks, burn barrels, flying lanterns and exploding binary targets.
The BC Wildfire Service is asking people to take the following precautions with any permitted outdoor burning:
- Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and stop it escaping.
- Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly and wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
- Create a fuel break around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material right down to the dirt.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure that your fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.
In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person’s legal obligations when using open fire on or within one kilometre of forest land or grassland.
People who light, fuel or use a Category 2 or Category 3 open fire must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation.
They also must check local venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If conditions are rated “poor” or “fair”, open burning is restricted. The venting index is available online.
Anyone planning to conduct Category 3 burns or large-scale industrial burning must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888-797-1717.
The Southeast Fire Centre encompasses the area extending from the United States border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands or Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. The Southeast Fire Centre includes the Selkirk and Rocky Mountain natural resource districts.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.