With the hunting and fall recreation seasons underway, the Prince George Fire Centre wants to remind residents, travellers, hunters and campers of a few important items to ensure everyone can enjoy their seasonal activities safely.
More information can be found in the sections below, but these safety reminders include:
- Slowing down and driving carefully along forest service roads (FSRs) as crews and equipment may be working
- Monitoring and calling on resource road channels as per call protocols
- Remaining vigilant in areas impacted by fire as wildfires may have compromised the root systems of trees and they may be unstable and fall easily
Current wildfire situation
Much of the Prince George Fire Centre continues to experience persistent drought conditions that have carried through the entire season. We recorded unseasonably high temperatures this summer, minimal precipitation and several significant wind events. These conditions have contributed to the wildfire situation we are currently in.
There are currently 130 active fires across the Prince George Fire Centre with 59 classified as Out of Control. Since April 1, a total of 664 fires have occurred in the Prince George Fire Centre and have burned nearly 2 million hectares.
While the majority of wildfires that occur in the summer are typically lightning-caused, with the return to more seasonal conditions in the fall, there is an increasing probability of human-caused fires. These fires divert critical resources and personnel away from existing incidents.
Campfire ban remains in effect for parts of PGFC
The B.C. government recognizes that hunting and camping are long-standing traditions in this province and that people enjoy having campfires, so it takes any decision to implement a campfire ban very seriously.
Campfire prohibitions are implemented based on the particular region’s BUI values. The BUI allows B.C.’s six fire centres to follow a consistent and scientific process for evaluating the need for campfire prohibitions.
Currently, campfires are prohibited in the following zones/forest districts:
- Vanderhoof/Fort St. James (VanJam) – Stuart Nechako Forest District
- Mackenzie – Mackenzie Forest District
- Dawson Creek – Peace Forest District
- Fort St. John – Peace Forest District
- Fort Nelson – Fort Nelson Forest District
Summary of prohibited activities and restrictions
For details on bans and restrictions including other prohibited activities, visit BCWildfire.ca or click on the image below.
Not sure what fire centre you’re in? Search your location and view which centre you’re in on our interactive map.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined as much as $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.
Area Restrictions, Evacuation Orders and Backroad Safety
The number one priority of the BC Wildfire Service is the safety of our first responders and of the public. This priority drives response efforts in an extremely dynamic fire environment and your heightened attention and caution is imperative.
It is critically important that everyone understand that areas with active area restrictions, alerts or orders, as well as other areas impacted by fire, are active wildfire areas. Choosing to remain in, enter or re-enter a restricted area or one under order puts you and our first responders in danger. It is not worth the risk. Firefighting crews plan multiple evacuation and escape routes and they understand when to use them to keep themselves safe in a wildfire situation.
It is also imperative that if you are utilizing backroads or forest service roads (FSRs) that you do so safely and only in areas that are not otherwise restricted or under an evacuation order. Please ensure you do your due diligence when travelling on these roadways: slow down, follow call protocols on resource road (RR) channels as indicated and stay aware of your surroundings.
Safety while hunting and recreating
The BC Wildfire Service recognizes that hunting and camping are longstanding traditions in the province and that many popular recreation areas are located not only within the Prince George Fire Centre, but in areas that have been impacted by wildfire this season. Some areas within the Vanderhoof/Fort St. James (VanJam), Mackenzie, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson zones remain incredibly active with an immense amount of fire on the landscape.
To ensure your own personal safety, the BC Wildfire Service encourages you to remain vigilant while in the back country and to know where you are located in relation to active wildfires. Even if you cannot see smoke or flame, significant safety hazards (e.g. danger trees, ash pits) may be present.
If there are alternative locations (away from wildfire) available to you, you are encouraged to adjust travel plans to maintain your safety.
Where to go for information
Stay informed and connect with the BC Wildfire Service:
- On Facebook: facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
- On Twitter: twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
- By downloading the BC Wildfire mobile app, available for all Apple and Android devices
Visit the BC Wildfire Service public website for a map and list of all active wildfires in B.C.
Call 1 888 3FOREST (1 888 336-7378) for current fire danger ratings, Wildfires of Note and current bans and restrictions.
Visit EmergencyInfoBC for current wildfire evacuation advisories.
Know before you go! Check DriveBC for road closures and other road events.
Prince George Fire Centre Information Team
BC Wildfire Service | Ministry of Forests