Category 3 Fires to be Banned in Southeast Fire Centre Effective Wednesday

A map showing which areas are impacted by the Category 3 burn ban. (Supplied by BC Wildfire Service)

As of 1:00 pm MST Wednesday, larger fires and open burns will be prohibited in the Southeast Fire Centre.

BC Wildfire Service says this includes the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District and the Selkirk Natural Resource District, among other regions.

The BC Wildfire Service is implementing this prohibition to help prevent wildfires caused by Category 3 burning and to protect public safety. A map indicating the areas affected by this prohibition is available online:

Category 3 fires include:

  • Any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide
  • Three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
  • Burning of one or more windrows
  • Burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares

Anyone conducting a Category 3 fire anywhere in the Southeast Fire Centre's jurisdiction must extinguish it by the June 12 deadline. This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.

This prohibition applies to all public and private land unless specified otherwise (e.g., in a local government bylaw). Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a high-metre wide or smaller and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

This prohibition also does not ban Category 2 fires, which include one or two concurrently burning piles up to two metres high by three metres wide each, or the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares.

A poster explaining the different categories of open burning can be viewed below or online here:

Anyone in violation of open burning bans may be fined $1,150, be required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $100,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to up 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, as well as the value of the resources damaged or destroyed by the wildfire.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west, to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east.

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:

More from East Kootenay News