By Laura Keil

The Province is outlawing campfires, in addition to open fires, amid a massive heat wave blasting much of B.C.

The ban begins at noon (Pacific time) on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 and will remain in effect until noon on Oct. 15, 2021 or until the order is rescinded.

The provincial weather forecast calls for record-breaking high temperatures throughout B.C. this week, with highs into the 40s in many areas, and follows a spring of lower-than-average precipitation in the southern half of the province. The Province says these conditions are expected to persist in the coming weeks.

The B.C. government says camping is a long-standing tradition in this province and it takes any decision to implement a campfire ban very seriously.

The BC Wildfire Service is taking additional precautions including doing fire warden patrols, fixed-wing aircraft patrols and an active enforcement presence.

“Wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility,” a Provincial release says. “Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and divert critical resources away from lightning-caused fires.”

View the BC Active Wildfire Map here.

In addition to campfires, Category 2, and Category 3 open fires, the following activities are also prohibited:

* The use of fireworks

* The use of sky lanterns

* The use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description

* The use of binary exploding targets

* The use of tiki and similar kinds of torches

* The use of chimineas

* The use of outdoor stoves or other portable campfire apparatus without a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriter Laboratories of Canada (ULC) rating

* The use of air curtain burners in Cariboo, Coastal, Northwest, Prince George and Southeast fire centres

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

Anyone found in contravention of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, may be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be 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.