Starting at noon on Friday, Category 3 open burns will be banned throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.

Category 3 open fires include the following:

  • A fire larger than two meters high by three meters wide.
  • Three or more piles burning at the same time, no larger than the size mentioned above.
  • Burning of one or more windrows.
  • Burning of grass and stubble over an area larger than 0.2 hectares.

That said, campfires less than half a meter in any direction and cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes are not banned for the time being.

The ban would include the entire Kootenay region, from the Cranbrook Fire Zone in the east to the Boundary Fire Zone in the west and north to the Columbia Fire Zone.

Officials with the BC Wildfire Service said the prohibition is meant to prevent any wildfires and protect public safety.

Those with a Category 3 registration number within the Southeast Fire Centre must put out their piles by June 11th, and must not ignite it again afterwards.

Breaking the fire ban could result in steep fines, with a ticket for up to $1,150, a $10,000 administrative penalty or, if convicted in court, up to $100,000 and/or a one-year jail sentence.

Map depicting the area impacted by the Category 3 fire ban. (Supplied by Southeast Fire Centre)