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BREAKING: All of British Columbia has campfire ban due to province-wide heat wave

BREAKING: All of British Columbia has campfire ban due to province-wide heat wave
BREAKING: All of British Columbia has campfire ban due to province-wide heat wave

The BC Wildfire Service reports that a provincewide ban on campfires will go into effect beginning Friday afternoon, July 12.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, the fire service said the ban comes amid an increased risk of new wildfires due to current and forecasted weather conditions. The Southeast and Kamloops fire centres had already announced campfire bans earlier in the week, which will also go into effect Friday afternoon.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the ban is intended to prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

In the 2023 fire season, 25 percent of the 2,245 wildfires were caused by humans. In 2022, British Columbia had one of the lowest human-caused fire seasons since 1950.

In a 2023 BC Wildfire Service video, Senior Wildfire Prevention Officer Alan Berry said many things are considered before a campfire is conducted

“We are always weighing the pros and cons of a ban on campfires. But at some point it becomes too important to prevent forest fires and the conditions are too dry.”

Berry said BC Wildfire Service looks at where the organization is in the season to respond to wildfires. He said there is also a threshold for assessing the total amount of fuels that could ignite.

“When the values ​​from those stations exceed a certain threshold and we see that the forecasts are warmer and drier for a longer period of time, we will introduce a ban.”

The province-wide bans come after days of record temperatures across British Columbia

On Monday, heat records were tied in two communities, while records were broken in 25 others. Lytton, Lillooet and Cache Creek all recorded temperatures above 40 C.

On Monday afternoon, 46 heat warnings were issued in the province, after a heat wave that first hit on Friday evening.

In coastal areas, the heat warning is expected to end on Tuesday evening, but elsewhere in the province the warning is expected to last until the end of the week.