BC Imposes Five-Month Ban on Large Open Fires in Interior

BC Imposes Five-Month Ban on Large Open Fires in Interior
Trees burned by the Bush Creek East Wildfire are seen above Little Shuswap Lake in Squilax, B.C., on Sept. 11, 2023. (The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)
The Canadian Press

The BC Wildfire Service has announced a five-month open fire ban covering much of the province’s Interior, as fire season gets off to an early start.

The ban on Category 3 fires in the Kamloops fire centre will run from May 3 to Oct. 11 and will prohibit people burning three or more fires on a property at the same time, or any single fire burning a pile larger than two metres in height or three metres in width.

Grass burns bigger than 0.2 hectares will also be banned, the service says.

Areas covered by the ban include the Lillooet, Kamloops, Merritt, Vernon and Penticton fire zones.

Drought conditions still cover much of B.C., and fire officials worry about another challenging season after last year’s record destruction.

A wildfire evacuation alert issued in the Interior over the weekend for the tiny town of Endako has now been rescinded, while another alert for the Burgess Creek wildfire in the Cariboo remains in place, with residents told to be ready to leave on short notice.

The 1,800-hectare Burgess Creek fire about 600 kilometres north of Vancouver continues to burn out of control, according to the wildfire service website, while the 25-hectare blaze that had been threatening Endako, a further 400 kilometres northwest, has now been contained.