Cooler temps, wet forecast lifts campfire ban

City of Cranbrook also lifts campfire ban, open burning prohibition still in effect.

Due to cooler temperatures and wetter conditions forecast in the near future, the Southeast Fire Centre has lifted a campfire ban that has been in place since early July.

With the ban rescinded, the following activities are permitted:

•Campfires no larger than a half-meter wide by a half-meter high.

•An open fire in an outdoor stove.

In addition, the City of Cranbrook has also lifted a campfire ban within municipal boundaries, following in the footsteps of the SEFC.

As with the SEFC, the city is limiting any campfires to within 24 inches in diameter.

“The intent is to ensure that campfires are controllable and do not pose a threat from either radiant heat or flying embers to surrounding properties or other combustibles,” read a press release from the city.

The SEFC is encouraging anyone who has a campfire to make sure a hand tool, such as a shovel, is available or at least eight litres of water to extinguish the flames. Never leave a fire unattended and make sure ashes are completely cool to the touch.

While campfires are now allowed, there are other types of burning are still prohibited.

•The burning of any material in a pile larger than a half-metre wide by a half-metre high, up to two metres wide by three metres high.

•The burning of stubble or grass in an area covering up to 0.2 hectares.

•Fireworks, sky lanterns and burning barrels.

•The use of binary exploding targets.

•The use of air curtain burners.

The SEFC prohibitions cover all B.C. Parks, Crown Lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department.

In what shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, the B.C. Wildfire Service is also asking residents to stay away from active-burning fires as hunting season approaches.

“The Southeast Fire Centre is asking hunters to stay away from areas with active wildfires,” read a statement from the organization. “Hunting season begins on Sept. 1 and hunting in the vicinity of a wildfire could put the safety of firefighters at risk.”

Within the SEFC, there are seven major fires burning, with the Cherry Lake blaze being the closest to Cranbrook.

Discovered a week ago, the fire has grown to 1,250 hectares.

It fire is currently 30 per cent contained, with 53 firefighters, two helicopters and six pieces of heavy equipment working the scene.

The fire has seen 12-15 mm of precipitation over the last few days and the public access restriction for the Caven, Wickman, Larch, Bloom, Teepee and Teepee / Jim Creek Forest Service Road has be lifted. These roads are now open to the public.