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Southeast Fire Centre to ban campfires

A campfire ban will go into effect on Friday, July 12, at noon.
The Southeast Fire Centre has issued a campfire ban effective noon, Friday, July 12. Black Press Media file photo.

The Southeast Fire Centre has announced a campfire ban across the Kootenays effective noon, July 12.

The ban comes amid a heat wave that is breaking temperature records across the province.

Factors under consideration for a campfire ban include current and forecasted weather conditions, indices, fire danger ratings, fuel type and ecology, according to Alexander Robinson, a fire information officer with the Southeast Fire Centre.

The 10-year average for total fires burned at this point in the fire season is 68.9 fires and 329.5 hectares. So far this year, the region is well below average, with 33 fires and 51 hectares burned, according to the Southeast Fire Centre.

"Despite frequently seeing below seasonal temperatures through May and June, the Southeast Fire Centre has entered a significant warming and drying trend in the past week," said Robinson, in an email. "As indices are climbing and are nearing thresholds, we are implementing this category 1 campfire prohibition to limit human-caused wildfires.

The ban applies to all public and private land within the Southeast Fire Centre, unless otherwise specified by a local government bylaw. 

Adjacent to the Kootenays, the Kamloops Fire Centre is also banning campfires, which will go into effect at the same time.

Sky lanterns, burn barrels or burn cages, binary exploding targets, air curtain burner and chimineas are all prohibited under the campfire ban.

Larger open burning prohibitions are already in place across the Southeast Fire Centre

Fines for violating campfire bans can be steep, as tickets can range up to $1,150, while administrative penalties can run into the thousands of dollars if convicted in court. 

To report a wildfire, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For more wildfire-related information, visit


Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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