Large fires now permitted in the Southeast Fire District

Effective Wednesday, September 29, Category 3 open fires will be permitted across the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction due to a decreased risk of wildfires.

A statement from the Southeast Fire Centre said this permits a fire that burns material larger than two metres in height and three metres in width, and stubble or grass over an area greater than 2,000 square metres.

Anyone considering a Category 3 fire must be aware of local conditions, and obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717. Category 3 burns must also comply with the Ministry of Environment’s Waste Management Act and Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. For more information, please visit Individuals who fail to meet these requirements may be subject to fines.

Anyone lighting an open fire must have sufficient personnel, water and equipment on hand to extinguish it and have it adequately guarded. Please ensure fires are not lit or kept burning during windy conditions and that they are fully extinguished before leaving the area.

The rescinding of this prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with civic authorities for any restrictions before lighting a fire.

Crews from the Southeast Fire Centre have responded to 219 wildfires since April 1, which together have burned 1,270 hectares. Last year by this time, the fire centre saw 582 fires that burned 3,975 hectares.

The Southeast Fire Centre encompasses the area extending from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands or Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C./Alberta Border in the east. This includes all of the Arrow-Boundary, Kootenay Lake, Rocky Mountain and Columbia forest districts.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, please call *5555 on your cellphone or toll-free to 1 800 663-5555.