by Goat staff with files from PG Fire Centre
Fire bans are in effect for the Prince George Fire Centre, including the Robson Valley, starting Wed. April 20th.
Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre starting at noon tomorrow to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.
Prohibited activities will include:
* the burning of any waste, slash or other materials
* stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
* the use of burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
* the use of sky lanterns, tiki torches or fireworks
* the use of stoves and other portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA/ULC approved
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online.
The BC Wildfire Service has responded to 45 new wildfires in the Prince George Fire Centre since the morning of April 18, 2016. Many of these fires are burning in the Peace region where 14 fires are currently estimated to be over 100 hectares in size.
Currently there are six fires of note in the Prince George Fire Centre. Four evacuation alerts or evacuation orders have been put in place by the Peace River Regional District and the District of Hudson’s Hope. Further information can be found at: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca
* The Charlie Lake fire (G80065) west of Charlie Lake, near Fort St. John, is estimated at 250 hectares in size. The local fire department is responding. The Peace River Regional District has issued an evacuation order and alert related to this wildfire.
* The South Taylor Hill fire (G70067), which is south of community of Taylor, B.C., is estimated at 850 hectares in size. BC Wildfire Service firefighters are on site assisting with the local fire department. The Peace River Regional District has issued an evacuation order and alert related to this wildfire.
* The Baldonnel fire (G80040), which is located five kilometres east of the community of Baldonnel, is estimated at 420 hectares in size. Fire activity has significantly decreased and the local fire department is responding to this incident. The Peace River Regional District has issued an evacuation order and alert related to this wildfire.
* The Attachie fire (G80051), which is located 35 kilometres west of Fort St. John, along Highway 29, is estimated at 500 hectares in size. BC Wildfire Service crews are on site. Travel advisories have been issued along Highway 29.
* The Beaton Airport Road fire (G80046), which is located 45 kilometres north of Fort St. John, is estimated at 4500 hectares in size, although ascertaining an accurate size is difficult due to smoke and poor visibility. Resources are being sent to this incident. No evacuation alerts or orders have been issued at this time.
* The Hudson’s Hope fire (G70037), which is located four kilometres northwest of Hudson’s Hope, is estimated at 300 hectares in size. BC Wildfire Service crews are on site assisting the local fire department. The District of Hudson’s Hope has issued an evacuation alert related to this wildfire.
Many local roads and highways have been affected by these fires and associated smoke. For up-to-date information on current road closures, visit: www.drivebc.ca
The fire prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.