All campfires are banned in Haida Gwaii as of noon on Wednesday, Aug. 8.
The BC Wildfire Service says it is banning campfires due to unseasonably hot and dry conditions. The risk of wildfire on Haida Gwaii is currently rated at “extreme.”
“This step will help protect public safety and prevent human-caused wildfires, which are entirely preventable and divert critical firefighting resources away from naturally-occurring fires,” said a BC Wildfire Service bulletin posted on Tuesday.
The Haida Gwaii campfire ban will last until Oct. 20 unless lifted earlier.
The ban also prohibits anyone from lighting tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels, or burning cages of any kind. Burning woody debris in outdoor stoves is also banned, and so is the use of exploding targets.
Haida Gwaii campers are still allowed to use gas, propane, or briquette-fired cooking stoves so long as they are CSA or ULC approved.
Larger, open fires have been banned on Haida Gwaii since July 25. In July, a pair of campers on East Beach lit a campfire behind a stack of driftwood, causing a smoldering fire that took park staff two hours to put out.
Campfire bans are already in effect for most of B.C. Across the province, over 1,000 km2 of forest has been burned by wildfires so far this season, with over 1,500 wildfires sparked since April 1.
To report a wildfire or anyone violating the fire ban, dial *5555 on a cellphone or call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free.
Anyone caught violating the fire may be be ticketed $1,150 or penalized up to $10,000. If convicted in court, offenders can be fined up to $100,000 or jailed up to a year.
Anyone who causes a wildfire by violating the ban may be ordered to pay all the firefighting and associated costs.