A wildfire that broke out in the summer of 2021. (File photo/Houston Today)

A wildfire that broke out in the summer of 2021. (File photo/Houston Today)

Open fire prohibition to take effect April 15

Due to weather forecast conditions in Northwest

The B.C. Wildfire Service (BCWS) will be implementing a Category two and three open fire prohibition due to current and forecast weather conditions in parts of the Northwest Fire Centre (NWFC), according to a press release. The prohibition will take effect 12:00 p.m. on April 15.

The prohibition will be monitored until weather conditions are favourable for these activities to resume.

The NWFC has recently responded to several escaped grass fires with one fire burning down an outbuilding. With a low humidity forecast, burning conditions become more hazardous, and with windy conditions a grass fire can spread very quickly. Local winds are often strongest in the afternoon and just as the sun is going down.

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The prohibition is intended to restrict all backyard burning projects and larger industry pile burning. These activities are typically the leading causes of wildfires in the NWFC this time of year.

The prohibition will cover the Nadina and Bulkley fire zones in their entirety which includes Burns Lake and a portion of the Skeena fire zone known as the old Kalum District.

Category two open fires are classified as material in one or two piles exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width, or stubble or grass burning over an area that does not exceeed 200 square metres.

Category three open fires are classified as any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide, three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide, one or more burning windrows, or stubble or grass burning over an area greater than 200 square metres.

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This prohibition does not apply to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or to fireworks, firecrackers or sky lanterns.

According to District of Houston Fire Chief Jim Daigneault, a permit from the district is required for open burning within the municipal boundaries.

If a wildfire occurs as a result of your burning, you may be found responsible for the government’s fire control costs and any related damages to Crown resources. In addition, there are administrative penalties of up to $100,000 that may be levied for failing to comply with your obligations under the Wildfire Act and Regulation.

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

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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