By Korie Marshall
Open fires are now banned in the Prince George as well as the Kamloops Fire Centres.
The bans imposed last week prohibit category 2 and 3 fires, which include the burning of stubble or grass, any fire larger than a campfire, fireworks and firecrackers, burn barrels and tiki torches and other similar kinds of torches. There are currently no bans or restrictions on campfires or forest use in either Fire Centre. A campfire is defined as an open fire that is no larger than 0.5 meters in either height or width, and is used for a recreational or by a first nation for a ceremonial purpose.
The ban on open fires in the Prince George Fire Centre is effective until Aug. 30th, 2015, or until the public is otherwise notified. The ban in the Kamloops centre is until Oct. 15th. The bans are intended to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.
The Little Bobtail Lake Fire, southwest of Prince George, is still burning, and the latest update from the Wildfire Branch says the cause is still under investigation. The size is currently estimated at 25,000 hectares, and the evacuation orders and alerts issued last week by the Regional Districts of Fraser-Fort George and Bulkley-Nechako are still in effect.
Two other fires of note are burning in the province. The Raft River fire 20 kilometers northeast of Clearwater is about 83 hectares, and the Pelican Lake fire, 80 kilometers northwest of Quesnel is 164 hectares. Both are currently listed as 100 per cent contained. A small fire southeast of Dunster was reported on May 18th. Jillian Kelsh, spokesperson for the Wildfire management Branch, says the fire was someone burning on private land, and the owner has been informed of the burn restrictions and was asked to extinguish the fire.
Further information about the status of fire can be found at www.bcwildfire.bc.ca