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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
April 12, 2017
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Wildfire Service
Category 3 open fires prohibited in Cariboo Fire Centre

WILLIAMS LAKE – Effective at noon on Thursday, April 13, 2017, Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

Anyone conducting Category 3 fires anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction must extinguish any such fires by noon on April 13, 2017. This prohibition will remain in place until September 30, 2017 or until the public is otherwise notified.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

  • any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide
  • three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
  • one or more burning windrows
  • burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares

These prohibitions are being implemented because Category 3 burning at this time of the year presents an increased risk of “holdover” fires. Holdover fires may smoulder undetected for a long time underground before flaring up as the temperature rises.

This Category 3 prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. This prohibition also does not ban Category 2 fires, which include:

  • one or two concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
  • burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares

A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at:

The Category 3 prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning 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 Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north, and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east. A map of the areas affected by this Category 3 open burning prohibition is available at:

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit:

You can follow the latest wildfire news on:

Natasha Broznitsky
Fire Information Officer
BC Wildfire Service
Cariboo Fire Centre
778 799-2101

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: