Is that fire an open burn? New map for the public can help - InfoNews

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Is that fire an open burn? New map for the public can help

November 18, 2016 - 10:44 AM

Wildfires are rare in B.C. at this time of year, but the smoke from legal, registered open burns is often mistaken for smoke from a wildfire. This is especially true in late fall when such fires are often lit to dispose of vegetation and wood debris.

To help members of the public locate these registered burns, the BC Wildfire Service website features an interactive map that displays details and locations for all active Category 3 burn registrations, as well as any registrations that have expired in the last seven days.

A Category 3 fire is a fire that burns:

  • material piled more than two metres high or three metres wide
  • stubble or grass over more than 0.2 hectares
  • more than two piles of any size

Registered open burns are typically conducted on industrial sites, private property or farms to dispose of debris or clear fields for new crops.

These burns can be done in the fall and spring when the wildfire risk is generally low, but anyone wishing to light a Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717. Burn registration numbers are logged into the Open Fire Tracking System, which allows the BC Wildfire Service to map and track open burning activity throughout B.C.

Smaller Category 2 open fires (such as backyard burns) do not require a registration number and are not displayed on this interactive map.

The Wildfire Act sets out specific requirements that anyone who does open burning must adhere to and all such fires must also comply with air quality control legislation. Local venting conditions, which must be checked before lighting a Category 3 open fire, can be obtained online or by calling 1-888-281-2992.

Although wildfires are uncommon this late in the year, when in doubt, the public is urged to report smoke and flames by calling 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on most cellular networks. Open fires can create significant amounts of smoke and appear to be quite intense (especially at night) even though they are burning safely within their planned boundaries.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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