District of Hope fire chief Tom DeSorcy has called a campfire ban, effective last Wednesday at noon.
The municipal ban comes alongside a campfire ban from the Coastal Fire Centre.
“When they issue a campfire ban, it doesn’t apply in town, which is why I have to issue my own,” said DeSorcy. “The reason why they are issuing it and why I agree with them is due to increased daily temperatures with no precipitation in the immediate forecast.”
DeSorcy said this increases the risk of fire.
“Also, when other fires start in other areas, then crews, forestry, firefighters like ourselves could be busy elsewhere,” said DeSorcy.
The ban will stay in place until Oct. 21, unless otherwise notified, but does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
“That means you’re not using a fire pit that you’ve made in your backyard,” said DeSorcy.
It also does not apply to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
“Basically, that would be like a camp stove that uses liquid or gas and then briquettes, of course, being charcoal in a barbecue, and liquid fuel is propane,” elaborated DeSorcy.
Propane fire pits are allowed too.
Other items, or activities, that remain prohibited are the use of tiki torches, fireworks and sky lanterns.
DeSorcy warns that the District can penalize offenders. While the District has never had to fine someone, DeSorcy warns that if a fire spreads outside of Hope, the Province could get involved.
“The Province could start issuing fines. They have tickets …. up to $100,000, and … more than likely cost recovery,” said DeSorcy.
As for the provincial ban, it covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands within the Coastal Fire Centre, with the exception of Haida Gwaii and the “Fog Zone” on Vancouver Island.
The ban 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.