Friday, May 19, 2023

Heading into the Victoria Day Long Weekend, BC Government urges caution for campers

With the first long weekend ahead and the launch of the summer season those heading out for a May Long camping experience are being urged to be cautious while in the provinces outdoor recreation areas.

With a couple of weeks of hot weather as a preamble to the weekend, there are a number of fire restrictions in place across the province, including some areas of the Northwest Fire Zone.

And while campfires are not included in the prohibitions, the BC Government is reminding campers of their responsibilities while exploring the outdoors.

Since April 1, 2023, more than 220 wildfires have burned more than 135,000 hectares, largely within the Prince George Fire Centre. Of these fires, 85% were human-caused and were preventable. Wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility. 

Category 2 and 3 open burning fires are now prohibited across the most of the province. Campfires (known as Category 1) are prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre as of noon on Friday, May 19, 2023. 

The listings for the Six BC Regional Fire Centres can be explored here.

BC Forest restrictions as of May 19 2023

If you don't pay heed to the guidelines for ther area you are camping in, it will be a costly weekend for you bank account. 

Anyone found in contravention of an open-burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined as much as $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 province also notes how we can provide for a line of defence for fire fighters in BC, that by reporting any wildfires, or unattended campfires that we may see.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone or download the BC Wildfire Service app

The mobile app allows individuals to submit photos along with their report which helps inform BC Wildfire Service operational decision-making. Information on the Wildfire App can be found below:

Apple Store link
Google Play Store link

More helpful information toward safety in the outdoors can be reviewed here.

To track the latest wildfire information for the Northwest see our archive page here.

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