Fire ban in effect for northwest B.C.

Effective noon today, all open fires are prohibited within the Northwest Fire Centre's jurisdiction.

Effective at noon on Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, all open fires are prohibited within the Northwest Fire Centre’s jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

Campfires larger that a half-metre tall by a half-metre wide are banned from Prince Rupert in the west to Burns Lake in the east and north to the Yukon border. Anyone lighting a campfire must  maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

Haida Gwaii is excluded from the fire ban. The decision comes as fire danger ratings vary from moderate to extreme and are expected to increase over the weekend.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca