SMITHERS – Effective at 12 p.m. (noon) Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be permitted throughout the Cassiar, Skeena and Bulkley Fire Zones. In addition, the Category 1 (campfire) prohibition will be rescinded for the Nadina Fire Zone.
Category 2 and Category 3 open burning prohibitions will remain in effect for the Nadina Fire Zone until Tuesday October 31, 2023 at 12p.m. (noon), PDT or until until the order is rescinded.
For more information and a map outlining the prohibition areas for the Northwest Fire Centre please check the bans and restrictions webpage.
These prohibitions were initiated to protect the health and safety of the public and BC Wildfire Service staff. With recent precipitation and cooler temperatures the wildfire risk has been greatly reduced, however there are still many active wildfires burning within our region. The public is strongly encouraged to exercise caution with any outdoor burning and campfire use. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that burning is done in a safe and responsible manner in accordance with regulations. Before lighting any fire, check with local government authorities to see if any local burning restrictions are in place.
Category 2 open fire:
- one or two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
- stubble or grass burning over an area of less than 0.2 hectares in size
Reminders about Category 2 open fire:
Anyone planning to conduct Category 2 open burning should always check the Ventilation Index, follow the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations and practice safe burning. Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material. Have an adequate source of pressurized water on hand. Never leave a fire unattended and make sure the fire is fully extinguished with ashes cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
More information on Category 2 open fire safety: Click here.
Category 3 open fire:
- any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide
- three or more concurrently burning piles each no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
- the burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares
- the burning of one or more windrows
Anyone wishing to light a Category 3 open fire must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888-797-1717. A burn registration number is not required to light a Category 2 open fire.
Reminders about Category 3 open burning:
All Category 3 open fires must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations. This requires individuals to check local venting conditions prior to lighting a fire and to understand all other obligations associated with these regulations.
More information on Category 3 open fire safety: Click here.
Prohibitions apply to all public and private lands unless otherwise specified (e.g. in an enactment or local government bylaw). Please check with your local authorities before lighting any fire.
Wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility. Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and divert critical resources away from lightning-caused wildfires.
Anyone found in contravention of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, may be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, may be 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.
For updates on the current wildfire situation, including full incident details for Wildfires of Note, please visit BCWildfire.ca.
You can follow the latest BC Wildfire news on:
- Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
- Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
- The free BCWS mobile app, available to download for Apple and Android devices.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, please call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free, *5555 on a cell phone or directly through the BC Wildfire Service mobile app.
BC Wildfire Service
Northwest Fire Centre
250-876-6844 Connect with the Province of B.C. at www.gov.bc.ca/connect