By Goat Staff
The Province rescinded the burning ban in the Prince George Fire Centre June 18th, which means Category 2 and 3 fires as well as resource management open fires are once again allowed with the proper precautions.
The burning ban had been in place province-wide since mid-April and was imposed to protect wildfire crews and the public during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Rainy, wet weather in June has abated much of the fire risk.
A press release says while the BC Wildfire Service has developed protocols for staff to safely respond to wildfires and reduce the risk from COVID-19, the Province asks for the public’s assistance to reduce the risk of forest fires.
“It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that burning is done in a safe manner in accordance with regulations. Before lighting any fire, it is advised to check with your local governments to see if any local burning restrictions are in place.”
Despite the lifting of the fireworks ban, the Village of Valemount has cancelled Canada Day fireworks largely due to the 50-person limit for public gatherings.
Category 2 open fires 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 than 0.2 hectares in size
- the use of fireworks, including firecrackers
- burn barrels and burn cages
- sky lanterns
- exploding binary targets
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.
Category 3 open fires include:
- any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide
- three or more concurrently burning piles each no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
- 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.
All Category 3 open fires must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations. This requires individuals to check local venting conditions prior to lighting a fire and to understand all other obligations associated with these regulations.
To report a wildfire or an open burning violation, call *5555 on a cell phone or 1-800-663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit http://www.bcwildfire.ca