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No campfire ban going into the long weekend, but BC Wildfire is monitoring

BC Wildfire Service operations director says British Columbians have heard the warnings
There is no campfire ban going into the Victoria Day long weekend, says BC Wildfire Service operations director Cliff Chapman as the number of campfires that lead to wildfires have seen a significant decrease. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Wildfire Service’s operations director says the province will continue to monitor the need for a campfire ban, but there isn’t plan for one just yet.

Cliff Chapman said Friday (May 17), during an update from Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma, that BC Wildfire Service monitors the conditions every single day, using “a real data-driven science approach to when we’re going to implement campfire bans.”

He said the number of campfires that lead to wildfires have significantly decreased.

“The people of British Columbia have kind of heard the warnings. They are very familiar with the conditions that we face and they are being more careful.”

With the recent rainfall and current temperatures, he said B.C. doesn’t need to implement a campfire ban yet.

But BC Wildfire Service will continue to monitor and “implement one as quickly as we need to.”

In a series of tweets after the update, BC Wildfire Service said human-caused fires are a real concern in B.C., accounting for about 40 per cent of all wildfires in the province. But human-caused wildfires are more than just campfire related; they can be caused by industry, trains, open burning, power lines, reflected lighting or “really anything other than lightning.”

Of the more than 2,200 wildfires in B.C. in 2023, 84 were caused by campfires.

As of noon Friday, the majority of B.C. was under category 2 and 3 bans, specifically in the Cariboo, Coastal, Kamloops, Northwest and Prince George fire centres. There is only a Category 3 ban in place in the Southeast.

Category 2 and 3 includes backyard and industrial burning, along with fireworks, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets.

READ MORE: B.C. prepares for wildfires as forecasts call for hot weather amid drought

READ MORE: 125 wildfires burn in B.C., with majority in province’s northeast

There are currently 125 active wildfires in the province, Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma said Friday (May 17) during an update on the wildfire situation in the province’s northeast.

The majority of those are in the Prince George Fire Centre – the largest region – in northeastern B.C.

READ MORE: Holdover wildfires slumbering through the winter increasing B.C. concern