Recreational campfires are still permitted in Mission, despite the recent announcement of a burning ban.
The BC Wildfire Service’s Coastal Fire Centre has issued a category 2 burning ban throughout the area, including Mission, but it does not include campfires or cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
Open burns are now prohibited in order to reduce wildfire risks and protect public safety.
This prohibition will remain in effect until the public is otherwise notified.
Mission Fire Chief Dale Unrau explained that the current announcement bans all fires other than campfires, which is normal for the start of June.
“We don’t allow any type of burning this time of year anyway, other than recreational campfire pits,” he said.
However, not everyone can have a campfire.
“Mission’s burning bylaw allows for recreational fire pits, but you are only allowed to have one if you’ve actually taken out a fire pit permit from the fire department.”
The permit costs $40 and is valid for as long as you live at the address listed on the permit. There is no yearly renewal.
Unrau said he doesn’t see a full burning ban being initiated in the near future, noting that there has been just enough rainfall to keep Mission’s fire risk in the low-to-moderate range.
“There is no imminent ban coming regarding campfires, but we expect that as summer gets drier, one will be put into place.”
Unrau said if the Coastal Fire Centre implements a campfire ban, Mission will as well.
“We do that in coordination with them to take away any confusion.”
While campfires are still acceptable, the current ban prohibits:
* the burning of any material (piled or unpiled) smaller than two metres high and three metres wide;
* the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 2,000 square metres;
* the use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description; and
* the use of binary exploding targets (for example, in rifle target practice).
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.
With warm, dry weather expected, Mission has implemented stage one water restrictions in the district.
According to the district website, water restrictions start May 1 each year to help keep lake levels high and avoid going into stage two restrictions if the summer is hot and dry.
Homes with even-numbered addresses are permitted to sprinkle their lawns from 6-8 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays while odd-numbered addresses are permitted to water from 6-8 a.m. on Thursdays and Sundays. Visit ourwatermatters.ca for more information.