Huu-ay-aht First Nations announces complete fire ban

Huu-ay-aht First Nations is implementing a complete fire ban in its territory, including the Pachena Bay Campground, which was previously excluded from the ban because it fell into the “Fog Zone.”

The Nations will follow the lead of the Provincial Government, which announced yesterday that effective at noon on Wednesday, July 8, the existing campfire ban in the Coastal Fire Centre will be expanded to cover all areas within the fire centre’s jurisdiction, including the “Fog Zone,” to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

The Coastal Fire Centre is prohibiting all campfires due to continued hot and dry conditions and the dryness of forest fuels. Huu-ay-aht First Nations expects people using its territory to follow the rules outline by the Province.

The public’s assistance is requested to help reduce the number of human-caused fires and enable crews to respond to naturally occurring wildfires.

This prohibition does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid fuel or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. The Coastal Fire Centre previously allowed the use of briquettes in established campfire rings in campgrounds, but as of noon on Wednesday July 8, 2015, briquettes may only be used in ULC-approved or CSA-approved devices, due to the extreme fire danger.

Category 2 and 3 open fires are also prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. The use of burning barrels, burning cages, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, Tiki torches and binary exploding targets is also prohibited.

A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://bit.ly/1LV5fue

The Provinces prohibition covers all B.C. Parks, provincial Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. For that reason, Huu-ay-aht has made the decision to enact the provincial restrictions.

Under the provincial ban, anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, 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 Coastal Fire Centre covers all of the area west of the height of land on the Coast Mountain Range north of 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.

For more information, call Huu-ay-aht First Nations at 250-723-0100 or 1-888-644-4555.

To report a wildfire 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 the B.C. Wildfire Service website: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can follow the latest wildfire news, on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo. Other useful sites are: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprscripts/wildfirenews/bans.asp and http://bcwildfire.ca/ftp/!project/WildfireNews/Campfires%20Pink.jpg

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