The following is a general alert, and applies to all of the BC Coast except to local governments with their own fire stations. It’s “good to know” information if you are travelling and/or staycationing beyond the boundaries of Sooke.
-Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
The BC Wildfire Service is reminding the public that the use of fireworks or sky lanterns is currently banned within the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.
This is part of the Category 2 open burning prohibition implemented earlier this year to reduce wildfire risks.
Using fireworks or sky lanterns is considered to be a high-risk activity, since they could easily ignite forest fuels and start a wildfire. Fireworks emit sparks and sky lanterns drift on wind currents that may shift frequently, making it difficult to determine where the sky lantern may land.
The Category 2 open burning prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
[SPN info: The District of Sooke is currently on a High fire rating.]
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online.
People working or enjoying recreational activities in forested areas or grasslands should regularly monitor local conditions and exercise caution so they don’t inadvertently spark a wildfire. Recent precipitation has been localized and has not affected all areas equally.
Small campfires are currently permitted within the Coastal Fire Centre, so long as they’re no larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide and built on mineral soil (e.g., dirt or rock that’s been cleared of flammable materials). Cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes are also permitted.
Never leave a campfire unattended. Make sure that it’s fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time. People can refer to the Wildfire Act and wildfire regulation to better understand their legal obligations.
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 $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $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.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories visit the BC Wildfire website
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- General open burning in Sooke regulations