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NEWS RELEASE · 2nd August 2013
Northwest Fire Centre
Effective at noon on Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, all open fires are prohibited within the Northwest Fire Centre's jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires. The prohibition will be in place until Sept.15, 2013, or until the public is otherwise notified.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:
* The burning of any waste, slash or other materials.
* Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area.
* The use of fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description.
* The use of tiki torches.

The prohibition does not restrict campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

Please ensure that campfires are not lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Make sure that that the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with civic authorities for any restrictions before lighting a fire.

The fire danger rating in the Northwest Fire Centre ranges from moderate to extreme and is expected to increase over the long weekend.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Northwest Fire Centre extends from the west coast to 10 kilometres west of Endako, and from the Yukon border to the Northern portion of Tweedsmuir Park. The area encompasses the Skeena Forest Region. To see a map of the area affected, click here: http://bit.ly/1aZVV3o

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to:
http://www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on -
* Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/BCGovFireInfo
* Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo