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B.C. campers fined $1,150 each for breaking campfire ban

Last Updated Jul 5, 2021 at 6:08 am PDT

Campfire Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130

Two people were handed fines totalling $2,300 for breaking B.C.'s campfire ban Friday

Province, local authorities reminding British Columbians to abide by campfire ban amid hot, dry conditions

Wildfire risk is high in most of the province

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It seems some people still haven’t gotten the message that campfires are banned across B.C.

Two people who started campfires in the Okanagan — one in Salmon Arm and the other in Vernon — were slapped with fines totalling $2,300 Friday — $1,150 each.

The tickets serve as a reminder to abide by the ban, and come as the province continues to grapple with dozens of wildfires amid hot and dry conditions.

The ban on campfires was brought in on June 30, with the expectation it will last until at least mid-October. It was implemented after many parts of the province experienced record-breaking temperatures, along with lower-than-average precipitation.

The BC Wildfire Service warns that while “anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150,” they could also be required to pay up to $10,000 in administrative penalties. They may even be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to a year in jail if they are convicted in court.

“If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs,” the province says.

Agencies have been warning people about the heightened risk of fire in recent weeks — not just in the backcountry.

“The fire danger in Vancouver is EXTREME,” a Vancouver Fire Rescue Services tweet reads. “Please be extra careful around dry vegetation: no smoking in parks or beaches & dispose of butts ONLY in approved containers. Report any burning or smoldering brush or grass to 911 immediately as fires grow extremely fast.”

The wildfire risk across most of B.C. is currently listed as “high,” with some areas classified as “extreme.”

A campfire is defined by size, not location — so any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide still qualifies.

Category 2 and Category 3 open fires also remain prohibited.