Campfire bans will come into effect on Wednesday. File photo

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Today’s your last chance for a some freshly roasted marshmallows; a campfire ban is coming into effect Wednesday at noon for Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, and the Gulf Islands.

Campfires and category 3 fires (open fires larger than 2 metres high by 3 metres wide) will still be permitted in Haida Gwaii and in the “fog zone” spanning Vancouver Island’s West coast from Owen Point, near Port Renfrew, all the way up and around to the northern tip, near the boundary of Port Hardy. Fires are permitted along the strip within two kilometres of the highest tide line. These prohibitions apply to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise in local government bylaws.

Prohibited activities include open fires, unauthorized stoves or portable campfire gear, tiki torches, fireworks, sky lanterns, burning barrels, or binary exploding targets (e.g. for rifle target practice).

CSA and ULC– approved cooking stoves and campfire apparatus are still permitted, as long as flames do not go higher than 15 centimetres.

The fog zone, highlighted in purple, is exempt from the campfire ban as long as the area is within two kilometres of the highest tide line. (Coastal Fire Centre)

The ban comes into effect as the days get hotter, with no indication of rain in the immediate forecast. While the days are warm, Nathasha Broznitsky, fire information officer at the Coastal Fire Centre said this year isn’t as bad as last year.

“The province in general was quite a lot drier this time last year,” Broznitsky said. “We had more rain in June than last year, and while the fire danger rating is largely high, in general we are doing less bad.”

That being said, since April 1, 2018, 69 per cent of wild fires in the Coastal Fire Centre area have been caused by people.

Anyone found in contravention of the ban could be issued a ticket for $1,150, be required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000, or if convicted in court, face a $100,000 fine and one year in jail.

For the most updated information on fire bans, you can head to bcwildfire.ca

If you need to report a forest fire or burning violation, you can call 1-800-663-5555 or text *5555.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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