Category 2 fires will be banned starting May 6 within the Nadina, Bulkley and Skeena fire zones within the Northwest Fire Centre. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

Northwest Fire Centre burn ban starts Monday

Concerned about warmer temperatures, BC Wildfire Service has issued a Category 2 open fire ban in the Northwest Fire Centre.

The ban for the Nadina, Bulkley and Skeena fire zones will take effect Monday, May 6 at noon. The Northwest Fire Centre extends from B.C.’s border with the Yukon Territory in the north to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the south, and from the Pacific Ocean and Alaska border in the west to just east of Endako.

“The Northwest Fire Centre is taking this proactive approach to protect public safety and help prevent any backyard burns or grass fires spreading to nearby forests,” reads the press release. “The prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.”

The Cassier Fire Zone, which extends to the Yukon border north of Stewart and Bell II, is not included in the ban.

Category 2 fires are defined as one or two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres wide by two metres high, or burning stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares.

Fireworks, including firecrackers, tiki torches, sky lantern, outdoor stoves, burn barrels, or exploding targets are not included in the ban.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000, or if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in prison.

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

To report a wildfire or an open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit http://www.bcwildfire.ca.

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