Campfires will be prohibited starting at noon on Aug. 4 in the Coastal Fire Centre area, which includes Parksville and its surrounding areas.
The ban applies to open fires of any size, campfires, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, tiki torches, burning barrels and binary exploding targets, according to a news release by BC Wildfire Service.
The prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, with the exception of the Haida Gwaii Forest District.
Parksville’s fire chief implemented a ban for the Parksville Fire Protection Area in conjunction with the Coastal Fire Centre ban, according to a news release by the City of Parksville.
The fire protection area encompasses the City of Parksville, French Creek areas bordering the City of Parksville to the edge of the fire protection area at Johnston and Drew Roads, San Pareil, Fourneau Road, Wildgreen Road and Martindale Road areas.
The campfire prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or portable campfire devices that use briquettes, liquid, or gaseous fuel, provided they are CSA or ULC approved, and the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres, according to BC Wildfire Service.
The ban will be in place until Oct. 28, or until the order is rescinded.
Beach fires are not permitted at any time in the Parksville Qualicum Wildlife Management Area, which includes the entire waterfront area in the Parksville Fire Protection Area. Because Parksville beaches are provincial jurisdiction, beach fires should be reported to the RAPP line (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1 877 952-7277 or #7277 on the Telus Mobility Network.
Anyone who lights, fuels or uses an open fire when a fire prohibition is in place, or fails to comply with an open fire prohibition, may be issued a ticket for $1,150 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 responsible could face a penalty of up to $100,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs, according to BC Wildfire Service.
The Coastal Fire Centre covers all 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.
— NEWS Staff