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Break out the tiki torches: Open fires allowed again in B.C.’s coastal region

All open fires will be permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction effective at noon.

The BC Wildfire Service announced it is lifting the burn ban in the region on Sept. 18 due to reduced risk for wildfires.

With the lift of the ban, Category 2 open fires will now be permitted as well as the use of tiki torches, burn barrels, fireworks, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets.

READ MORE: Category 2 open fire ban to be lifted for Cariboo fire jurisdiction

Campfires and Category 3 open fires, which are larger than two metres high and three metres wide, remain permitted throughout the Coastal Fire Centre. However, anyone lighting a Category 3 open fire must obtain a free burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717.

The Coastal Fire Centre covers the entire area west of the Coast Mountain Range from the U.S.-Canada border at Manning Park, including Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park in the north, the Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.

READ MORE: Beach fire ban debate reignited in Tofino

Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, so people should check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.

Fire prevention officer Ted Main told Black Press Media that Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley and Mission all have strict burning regulations that do not allow burn barrows, sky lanterns or fireworks, and burning of agricultural waste is restricted to farm properties in the rural area with an approved permit.

Main said in Abbotsford, burning is restricted to farm properties that meet clearances to neighboring occupied residents.

“Pile sizes are also restricted to 3 metres in diameter by 1 metre in height for agricultural burning with camp fires being totally restricted unless special approval is given by the fire chief,” Main said in an email.

“In Abbotsford anyone caught burning garbage or burning agricultural waste without a permit receive a fine ($400) and if they continue to burn illegally the fines increase.

“In Langley and Chilliwack their burning permit season is only March and April in the spring and October and November in the fall.”

READ MORE: Campfires allowed in Mission, despite burning ban



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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