A BC Wildfire Service graphic showing the regulations and specifications of different categories of fires. Categories 2 and 3 fires are still prohibited in the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.

Fire ban lifted in Hope and area

District of Hope fire chief Tom DeSorcy rescinded the fire ban he called last month, in time for the long weekend.

District of Hope fire chief Tom DeSorcy rescinded the fire ban he called last month.

The lifting of the town’s ban coincides with the Coastal Fire Centre’s reversal of their ban.

The Coastal Fire Centre’s ban was lifted last Tuesday at noon, while DeSorcy made his call last Wednesday just before noon.

Both DeSorcy and the BC Wildfire Service reversed the ban because of cooler temperatures and expected rain.

“We have a change in the forecast. The weather forecast is calling for cooler temperatures and some expected precipitation,” said DeSorcy. “So that’s why, since the province made their rescinding, it made it easier for us to do the same.”

In a press release, the BC Wildfire Service noted that the Lower Mainland received rain over the weekend and much of it fell in areas where the campfire ban is being lifted.

However, they note there are still existing Category 2 and 3 open burning prohibitions. Those categories restrict the size of fires.

DeSorcy noted that only small campfires burning seasoned wood is allowed. He emphasizes “seasoned wood” because poor quality, waste wood can produce smoke.

“This is an opportunity to remind people that we don’t allow open burning in Hope, other than campfires, cooking food or keeping warm,” said DeSorcy. “It’s a long standing rule. Everyone in Hope knows that yard and garden waste should be disposed of properly through the recycling and not burning in your backyard.”

The Coastal Fire Centre continues to prohibit use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages, binary exploding targets. This applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands.

They add that 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 by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource 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.