Open fires to be banned on Vancouver Island starting Wednesday

Most open burning in the Coastal Fire Centre jurisdiction, which includes Vancouver Island, will be prohibited as of noon ­Wednesday.

Open fires will be banned throughout the region, with the exception of Haida Gwaii. The prohibition will be in effect on all public and private land.

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Also banned are fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels and air-curtain burners.

Recreational or ceremonial campfires that are a half-metre high or wide or smaller are allowed, as are cooking stoves fueled by gas, propane or ­briquettes.

Flammable debris should be cleared from the area and at least eight litres of water should be kept nearby so the campfire can be properly put out. A fire guard, such as a ring of rocks, is also required.

Being found in contravention of an open-fire prohibition can lead to a $1,150 violation ticket, an administrative penalty of as much as $10,000 or a fine of up to $100,000 plus ­firefighting costs should a wildfire be involved.

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