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Sweeping fire ban coming to Metro Vancouver, so put those burning barrels away

Effective at noon on Thursday, May 30, Category 2 open burns will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction – which includes Metro Vancouver.
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Effective at noon on Thursday, May 30, Category 2 open burns will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction – which includes Metro Vancouver.

 Fire/ShutterstockFire/Shutterstock

Specifically, this prohibition applies to:

  • the burning of any material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres high and three metres wide;
  • the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square metres;
  • the use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description; and
  • the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for rifle target practice).

“The prohibition does not apply to larger Category 3 fires or to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes,” said a news release. “A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online.”

Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

If you’re caught violating this ban, the penalty includes a ticket for $1,150, being required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $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.

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, check out B.C.'s Wildfire Service webpage.