Category 2 & Category 3 open fire prohibited across Northwest Fire Centre

SMITHERS – Effective at 12:00 (noon) Pacific Daylight Time on Thursday, May 18, 2023, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited across the entire Northwest Fire Centre. Category 2 and Category 3 open fires were already prohibited in the Bulkley and Nadina Fire Zones, and this prohibition is now being extended to the Skeena and Cassiar Fire Zones.

The BC Wildfire Service is implementing this prohibition to help prevent wildfires caused by Category 2 and 3 open burning and to protect public safety.

This prohibition will remain in place until June 15th, 2023, or until the public is otherwise notified.

Specifically, this prohibition refers to the following activities:

Category 2 open fires:

  • material in 1 or 2 piles not exceeding 2-metres in height and 3-metres in width,
  • material concurrently burning in 2 piles each not exceeding 2-metres in height and 3-metres in width, or
  • stubble or grass burning over an area that does not exceed 0.2 hectares.

Category 3 open fires:

  • any fire larger than 2-metres high by 3-metres wide,
  • 3 or more concurrently burning piles no larger than 2-metres high by 3-metres wide,
  • 1 or more burning windrows, or
  • stubble or grass burning over an area greater than 0.2 hectares.

Also prohibited are the activities listed below (Wildfire Act, Section 12):

  • fireworks, including firecrackers;
  • sky lanterns.

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane, or briquettes. For more information on Category 2 & 3 open burning please click here.

Anyone conducting a Category 2 or Category 3 open fire anywhere in the Northwest Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by 12:00 (noon) PDT, May 18, 2023.

Please view a map of the affected areas below. A map is also available online.

The Category 2 & Category 3 open fire prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, unless otherwise specified (e.g., in a local government bylaw). Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and divert critical resources away from lightning-caused fires. Always practice safe, responsible fire use where permitted.

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.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

You can follow the latest wildfire news:


BC Wildfire Service
Fire Information Officer
Northwest Fire Centre
250 876-6844

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