Today’s Poll

Fire ban lifted in West Kootenay

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
September 30th, 2010

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

A decreased risk of wildfires in the region means large open fires are now permitted in the West Kootenay.

The Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar lifted the open fire ban at noon Wednesday, allowing fires that are larger than two metres in height and three metres in width, as well as stubble or grass over an area greater than 2,000 square metres.

However, these fires are considered category three and require a burn registration number (call 1-888-797-1717). These fires must also comply with the Ministry of Environment’s Waste Management Act and Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (see

There are some recommendations for those who do lit large, open fires: have sufficient personnel, water and equipment on hand to extinguish it.

The rescinding of the prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments — like the City of Nelson — that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department.

Currently, city council in Nelson is debating the possibility of allowing backyard burning in the month of November.

The fire season itself in the entire Southeast Fire Centre region has dropped markedly over last year, going from 582 fires and 3,975 hectares burned at this time last year to 219 wildfires and only 1,270 hectares burned.

The Southeast Fire Centre encompasses the area extending from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands or Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C./Alberta border in the east. This includes all of the Arrow-Boundary, Kootenay Lake, Rocky Mountain and Columbia forest districts.

For the latest information on fire conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at



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