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Open burning allowed again in parts of Southeast Fire Centre

All open burning will be permitted in the Cranbrook, Invermere, Columbia, Arrow and Kootenay Lake fire zones, but will remain prohibited in the Boundary fire zone.

Effective at noon Pacific Time on Thursday, September 16, 2021, the Southeast Fire Centre said all open burning will be permitted in the Cranbrook, Invermere, Columbia, Arrow and Kootenay Lake fire zones.

However, open burning will remain prohibited in the Boundary fire zone.

In the Boundary Zone the following equipment and activities remain prohibited:

  • Category 2 and Category 3 open fires, as defined in the Wildfire Regulation;
  • the use of burn barrels and burn cages of any size or description;
  • the use of air curtain burners;
  • the use of sky lanterns;
  • the use of fireworks, including firecrackers; and
  • the use of binary exploding targets.

A map of the affected areas and their associated prohibitions is available online: http://ow.ly/5E3I50G9hgR

Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, people should always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.

The BC Wildfire Service takes several factors into account before rescinding its open burning prohibitions. This includes balancing the needs of the public with the need to mitigate the risk of human-caused wildfires. With recent and forecast weather conditions that include cooler temperatures, and higher humidity, the fire danger rating has dropped throughout most of the Southeast Fire Centre.

Anyone lighting a Category 3 open fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717. A poster explaining the different categories of open fires is available online: http://ow.ly/jdO5301kS32

People who do open burning should use caution and be aware of local conditions that might impact their ability to burn safely and control their open fires. Anyone who lights an open fire must also comply with B.C.'s air quality control legislation. Check the local venting index by calling 1 888 281-2992 or visiting: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/venting.html

The BC Wildfire Service urges people to take the following precautions with any allowed outdoor burning:

  • Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and stop it escaping.
  • Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly, and wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Create a fire guard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material right down to the soil.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure that your fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

The map of the Southeast Fire Centre shows the affected areas and their associated prohibitions. — Submitted

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.

The Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank the public for its continuing help in preventing wildfires. To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca