Large fire prohibition areas on Haida Gwaii and coastal B.C. (B.C. government photo)

Large fires prohibited on Haida Gwaii as danger hits “high”

Province bans open burning and use of fireworks across the island, campfires are still allowed

Firefighters are asking islanders to take extra take care with campfires and smoke houses after Haida Gwaii’s wildfire danger rating hit a rare “high” this week.

The province announced that as of noon on July 25, Category 2 and Category 3 open burning will be prohibited in Haida Gwaii, although campfires will still be allowed there.

The use of fireworks, sky lanterns, burning barrels, tiki torches and rifle target practice are all considered prohibited activities during this time.

Skidegate firefighters were called out to control a large waste fire near St. Mary’s Spring last week, and at Cape Ball, staff with Naikoon Provincial Park spent hours dousing an uncontrolled campfire that set a stack of driftwood alight.

According to B.C. fire officials, a “high” danger class rating means that forest fuels are very dry, the fire risk is serious, and new fires may start easily and challenge firefighters to control.

Since April 1, people have been responsible for 72 per cent of the wildfires in the Coastal Fire Centre.

In the announcement, the province said fire prohibitions will remain in effect until Oct. 19, unless otherwise noted. Anyone who disobeys the open burning prohibition could receive a ticket for $1,150 and could even be fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to one year in jail.

For updates on provincial fire restrictions, visit bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca.

READ MORE: Tlell set to vote on fire service funding


 


andrew.hudson@haidagwaiiobserver.com

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