PROVINCE WIDE FIRE BAN

Sent: April 8, 2020 10:46 AM
Subject: Province-wide Fire Ban

Please find attached and below, an Information Bulletin regarding a province-wide open burning prohibition that will be implemented at 12 noon Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on April 16, 2020. 

In coordination with the broader Provincial Government, the B.C. Wildfire Service has prohibited the use of Category 2 and Category 3 Open Fires, as well as Resource Management Open Fires (Prescribed Fires) across the province, including the entire Northwest Fire Centre. Campfires are still allowed. Please see the attached Open fire regulations poster for a more detailed description of these categories.  Also attached is a map to illustrate the prohibitions across all of the Northwest Fire Centre. 

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation remains dynamic in British Columbia and elsewhere around the world, and we recognize this causes concern for many of our partners and stakeholders. The BC Wildfire Service continues to prepare for the 2020 freshet and wildfire seasons and is adapting in response to changing conditions.

This is a provincial approach to prevent fire starts from holdover piles and ongoing burning. It is recognized that many parts of the province still have snow, but by enacting an early, province-wide burning prohibition, the BC Wildfire Service anticipates a reduction in human-caused wildfires. This will minimize the need to deploy staff, which helps to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Note that until Wednesday, April 15th, we remain under the open burning restrictions for all High Smoke Sensitivity Zones across the province issued by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

The BCWS will monitor wildfire conditions, as well as remain in coordination with other branches of government regarding COVID-19, throughout the next months and may alter, expand, or rescind the restrictions that are being put into effect.

Please continue to refer to our Fire Bans and Restrictions webpage for updated information. 

To report unlawful open burning, call the 24/7 Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1 877 952-7277 or dial #7277 on a cell phone. 

Since we are all at home but can’t burn, here are some activities from FireSmart Canada that we can do during COVID-19:

  • Download the FireSmart Begins at Home app and undertake a structure ignition-zone assessment.
  • Rake and remove tree needles and dry leaves within a minimum of 1.5 metres of a home’s foundation. As time permits, continue up to a 10-metre distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
  • Clean tree needles from the roof and gutters.
  • Get out your measuring tape and see how close wood piles are located to the home. If closer than 10 metres, relocate and move the pile at least 10 metres from structures.
  • Sweep porches and decks to clear them of leaves and tree needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds and play structures.
  • Mow grass to a height of 10 centimetres or less.
  • Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage shed, garage, or basement. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors and should be located away from the home.
  • Go to firesmartbc.ca and read or watch the numerous resources that are available on the website.
  • Take the FireSmart 101 course on firesmartcanada.ca

Poster (358 KB)

Burning Prohibitions Map (644 KB)

How Wildfire Info is displayed (313 KB)