Want to have a campfire this long weekend? Don't forget to check your local fire ban status

·2 min read
Some areas of B.C., have lifted campfire bans, but officials are urging people to check whether fires are allowed in their specific areas. (Shutterstock/anatoliy_gleb - image credit)
Some areas of B.C., have lifted campfire bans, but officials are urging people to check whether fires are allowed in their specific areas. (Shutterstock/anatoliy_gleb - image credit)

Long weekend campers with a craving for campfire-cooked s'mores may be in luck this weekend as some parts of the province lifted fire bans on Friday.

Some campfire prohibitions put in place earlier this summer in parts of the Interior and on Vancouver Island have been lifted, but officials are encouraging people to check their local status before lighting a fire.

For example, the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) has lifted its fire bans in Electoral Areas B and C, but the City of Vernon and District of Coldstream have kept bans in place.

"It's up to each local jurisdiction to make that decision as they see fit," said Ashley Gregerson, communications officer for the RDNO.

Additionally, the Central Coast Regional District has lifted a campfire ban for the North Island Central Coast Forest District.

Although campfires will be allowed, backyard burning, industrial burning, and the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels and burn cages remain prohibited until Oct. 28.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, campfires are allowed throughout the Kamloops and Southeast fire centres as of noon on Friday, however, the Splatsin First Nation is keeping a local fire ban in place for its area, near Enderby, B.C.

B.C. Wildfire Service
B.C. Wildfire Service

"Our area continues to experience hot and dry conditions and, as such, high fire danger is still of significant concern," Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Doug Thomas said.

There are no current fire bans in the Northwest Fire Centre region.

The Ministry of Environment says campfire bans remain in place for most provincial parks and is advising visitors to check their website for details regarding individual campgrounds.

Wildfire risk

Neil McLoughlin, a B.C. Wildfire Service spokesperson, says despite a relatively slow wildfire season thus far, high fire risks are forecast for some areas in September as hot, dry conditions persist.

In particular, the northeast and southwest regions are at risk.

"Right now, our Pacific Ocean temperatures remain three to five degrees Celsius above normal, and that's going to translate into warmer-than-normal temperatures through September for most of the province."

As of Friday evening, four wildfires of note are burning in the province, and 192 fires in total.

Wildfires of note are ones that are highly visible, or pose a threat to public safety.

Air quality statements have been issued for the East Kootenay, Kootenay Lake, Fraser Canyon, Similkameen, Nicola, West Columbia and Williston regions as wildfire smoke blankets those areas.