Douse that campfire!

The BC Wildfire Service is urging campers and backcountry enthusiasts to take better care with campfires.

A rash of abandoned campfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre the past few weeks led to the warning.

Campfire must fully extinguished before leaving for any extended period.

While temperatures are expected to cool over the coming days, little rain is forecast and gusty winds are possible.

Wildfires are easily started when winds blow sparks and embers into surrounding forests.

Since the start of the fire season, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to 936 wildfires, 443 of which were human caused. Nearly 100,000 hectares of forest has burned.

The fire danger rating throughout B.C. is generally moderate to high, with some areas rated extreme. 

Campfires are currently prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre (with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the area known as the "Fog Zone"), but are allowed throughout the rest of the BC Wildfire Service's jurisdiction.

Campfires are also banned throughout the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

If you do have a campfire, BC Wildfire Services asks you to adhere to the following:

  • Have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish your campfire
  • Campfires can not be larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide
  • Do not light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material.
  • Maintain a fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed
  • Never leave a campfire unattended
  • Ensure that the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cool to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time. Natural resource officers and conservation officers conduct regular patrols throughout British Columbia, including looking out for campfire-related infractions.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may 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 one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

If you see an abandoned campfire call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on any cellphone.

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