Build your campfires at least three metres from any log, stump, snag, standing tree or wooden structure
The size of the campfire must not exceed one metre in height and one metre in diameter. The best cooking fire is small and hot.
Equip yourself with a shovel or a pail of water containing at least 8 litres. These must be kept near the fire at all times.
Attend your campfire at all times and be certain it is extinguished before leaving it. Sift the ashes with your fingers to be sure.
Campfire restrictions or bans
During periods when forest fuels are dry (spring, summer or fall) and the danger of forest fires increases, the Forest Service may need to impose bans or restriction on the use of campfires. This action may be necessary to limit the risk of a forest fire starting or to address public health or safety concerns.
The use of campfires as described in the Forest Fire Prevention and Suppression Regulation does not apply to stoves that use gas or briquettes or approved permanent campsites located in provincial parks or privately owned and supervised commercial campgrounds or picnic sites. If you are unsure about your situation contact the Forest Service office nearest you.
If you see a wildfire or unattended campfire,
Does the Forest Fire Prevention and Suppression Regulation apply to your burn?
Check with your local fire department, municipality, improvement district, or regional district to determine if there are local by-laws that pertain to burning woody debris. If there are by-laws in place locally please contact those agencies for your authority to burn safely.
B.C. Environment administers the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation under the Waste Management Act that may apply to your burn. Instead of burning, reuse and recycle as much organic material as possible. If safe burning is the only option remaining, please be aware of your obligations under the Waste Management Act – Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. Check with the B.C. Environment office nearest you to determine if the smoke control regulation applies.
If there are no local burning by-laws and you are planning to burn within one kilometre of a forest and you have determined how the B.C. Environment smoke control regulation applies to your burn, the Forest Fire Prevention and Suppression Regulation sections on open fires will apply.
"Backyard" fires are considered to be small fires for burning waste material (paper, cardboard, lumber, brush, slash, stumps, trees or other woody debris) not exceeding 2 metres in height and 3 metres in diameter. These accumulations are normally hand piled. These fires are considered small open fires for waste material Category 1.
Backyard burning also includes burning grass or stubble where the area is less than 0.2 hectares in size (2000 sq. metres). This type of fire is a small open fire for grass or stubble Category 2.
Persons may light or make use of these types of open fires if:
Small Open Fires for Waste Material
Additional Requirements for small
The person burning must, immediately on the fire escaping or threatening to escape, in addition to the person patrolling provide:
All backyard burning must be extinguished before a person leaves the area.
When burning grass or stubble where the area to be burned is less than 0.2 hectares in size (2000 sq. metres) the following requirements apply:
A fuel break * must be established around the burn area to prevent the fire from escaping.
* a fuel break means:
an existing barrier or change in fuel type or condition; or
a strip of land that has been modified or cleared that acts as a buffer to prevent fire spread.
At least 2 adult persons at the burn area who actively patrol to prevent the fire from escaping, who are equipped with:
a round nose shovel, axe or pulaski; and
a means to deliver 400 litres of water to any place on the burn area in a manner which is appropriate to fire fighting.
Only one burn area may be ignited or burning at any one time.
The fire on a burn area must be extinguished before another burn area is ignited.
If your fire escapes
or you require assistance containing your fire
or cellular *5555.
During periods when forest fuels are dry (spring, summer or fall) and the danger of forest fires increases, the Forest Service may need to impose bans or restriction on the use of fires. This action may be necessary to limit the risk of a forest fire starting or to address public health or safety concerns.
Contravention of the Forest Fire Prevention and Suppression Regulation may result in a offence. A person who contravenes the regulation may be liable for fire fighting costs and damage caused by the fire.
For information on this and other topics relating to the Ministry of Forests’ Protection Program, please visit our website at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/protect/
Still not sure?
If you need help planning your burning activities, give us
a call at