Open fires restricted in the region

Southeast Fire District to prohibit open burning indefinitely to prevent wildfires and protect public safety.

There will be an indefinite fire ban in the Southeast Fire District beginning this Friday, May 22, that will help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

Prohibited fire activities include:

•burning of waste, slash or other materials.

•Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area.

•use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels or cages of any size or description.

•use of binary exploding targets (i.e. rifle target practice).

•use of air curtain burners.

The prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by half-metre wide or smaller and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

The Southeast Fire Centre is experiencing drier-than-normal conditions and an elevated fire hazard. These prohibitions are being put in place due to the current weather conditions and the long range forecast.

The prohibition covers all B.C. Parks, crown lands and private lands but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department.

The Southeast Fire Centre covers the area extending from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. It includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 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 subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1-800-663-5555.