It was good while it lasted.

Following a couple weeks of hot and dry conditions, a campfire ban for Vancouver Island takes effect at noon this coming Thursday, August 4th.

The campfire ban covers both public and private land within the BC Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction—which encompasses all of Vancouver Island.

The prohibition will remain in effect until October 15th, or until the orders are rescinded.

A campfire is defined as any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.

In addition to campfires, the ban will also cover fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description.

The ban is not applicable to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres – so you’re still good to cook while camping this summer.

The ban comes as two wildfires burn on northern Vancouver Island. Both are believed to be human-caused.

The fires, south of Sayward, are under control and being monitored.

Anyone found in violation of the open burning prohibition could be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to a year in jail.

If the violation causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may also be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

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

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

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