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Southeast Fire Centre issues Category 3 fire prohibitions

Lone Sheep Publishing
By Lone Sheep Publishing
May 14th, 2024

The BC Wildfire Service is getting the jump on any potential dangers as the region prepares for the upcoming fire season.

In a media release, the BC Wildfire Service said that effective at 12:00 (noon) PDT on Friday, May 17, 2024, Category 3 open burning will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, which includes the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District and the Selkirk Natural Resource District.

The BC Wildfire Service said the decision is to help prevent wildfires caused by Category 3 open burning and to protect public safety.

“This prohibition will remain in place until the earlier of 12:00 (noon) PDT on October 28, 2024, or until the Order is rescinded,” the BC Wildfire media release said.

Anyone conducting Category 3 open fires within the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction must extinguish those fires by the Friday, May 17, 2024, deadline.

Category 3 open fire which means an open fire that burns:

  • material concurrently in 3 or more piles each not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width,
  • material in one or more piles each exceeding 2 m in height or 3 m in width,
  • one or more windrows, each not exceeding 200 m in length or 15 m in width,
  • stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 ha.

This prohibition does not include Category 1 campfires or Category 2 open fires.

Further information on the different types of open burning click this link.

The BC Wildfire Service said this prohibition applies to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise (e.g., in a local government bylaw) and the public should check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

Based at the Castlegar municipal airport, the Southeast Fire Centre, extends from the U.S. border to Mica Dam and from the Okanagan Highlands/west side of the Monashee Mountains to the B.C./Alberta border and includes several provincial parks including Valhalla, Kokanee Glacier, Top of the World and Elk Lakes covering more than eight million hectares of land.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined 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 Southeast Fire Centre would like to thank the public for its continued 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 the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit:

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