Photograph by Issy Bailey
The BC Government will prohibit most burning throughout the province, starting next week, to reduce the likelihood of wildfires caused by people.
The open burning prohibitions come into effect on April 16, but campfires will still be allowed.
The Forests Ministry says open burning prohibitions will reduce demands on firefighting resources and protect the health and safety of BC Wildfire Service staff and the public.
Large open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection and response capabilities.
The ban is expected to reduce the number of false alarms where firefighters respond to a report of smoke to find the fire is a controlled burn and not from a wildfire.
The prohibition will also help lessen the impact of smoke on air quality and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the BC Centre for Disease Control’s recommendation to help reduce excess air pollution in airsheds throughout the province.
The Ministry says a strategic deployment of wildfire management resources is critical this fire season, so it is especially important to reduce the number of unnecessary, human-caused wildfires.
The province wants to ensure BC Wildfire Service staff remain healthy to respond to wildfires throughout the 2020 season and that response capability is not affected.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development says the following activities will be prohibited and the restrictions will remain in effect until the public is otherwise notified:
– Category 2 open fires
– Category 3 open fires
– Resource Management open fires
– The use of fireworks
– The use of sky lanterns
– The use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or descriptions (except when used for a campfire.