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Posted: June 17, 2020

Some open burning temporarily allowed

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Category 3 fires still not allowed in Cranbrook and Invermere fire zones

Effective at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, the following amendments have been made to both Category 2 and Category 3 open burning prohibitions within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.

Given consideration to weather patterns and time of year, the BCWS has identified a brief window to temporarily allow category 2 open burning throughout the entire Southeast Fire Centre and category 3 open burning to be allowed in specified areas.

Category 2 open burning:

Category 2 open burning will be temporarily allowed throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. Category 2 open burns include:

  • one or two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide;
  • stubble or grass burning over an area of less than0.2 hectares in size;
  • the use of fireworks;
  • burn barrels and burn cages;
  • sky lanterns; and
  • exploding binary targets;

Reminders About Category 2 Open Burning:

Anyone planning to conduct category 2 open burning, should always check the ventilation index, follow the open burning smoke control regulations and practice safe burning. Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material. Have an adequate source of pressurized water on hand. Never leave a fire unattended and make sure the fire is fully extinguished with ashes cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

More information on category 2 open burn safety.

Category 3 Open Burning:

Category 3 open burning will be temporarily permitted for the Arrow, Kootenay Lake, and Columbia fire zones within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.

However, category 3 open burn prohibitions will remain in effect for the Boundary, Cranbrook, and Invermere fire zones where the following activities are still prohibited:

  • any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide;
  • three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide; and
  • the burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares;
  • the burning of one or more windrows.

Anyone wishing to light a Category 3 open fire must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717. A burn registration number is not required to light a Category 2 open fire.

Reminders About Category 3 Open Burning:

As a reminder, all Category 3 open fires must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. This requires individuals to not only check local venting conditions prior to lighting a fire, but to also understand what Category Area your burn is carried out in along with all other obligations associated with these regulations.

A summary of Good Practices related to fire preparedness for the forest industry can be found online.

The BC Wildfire Service thanks the public for its continued support, vigilance and co-operation during this fire season. 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. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

BC Wildfire Service – Southeast Fire Centre  


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