Q: Are Category 2 open fires prohibited right now? A: At this time, Category 2 open fires are not prohibited within the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. Q: What is a Category 2 open fire? A: A Category 2 open fire is commonly known as backyard burning or debris burning. A campfire is not a Category 2 fire. According to the Wildfire Regulation, a Category 2 fire:
burns waste material in one pile, not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width;
material concurrently in two piles, each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width; or
burns stubble or grass over an area not exceeding 0.2
hectares. Q: When are Category 2 open fires prohibited? A: Category 2 open fires will be prohibited by the Coastal Fire Centre when it’s anticipated that this type of fire could pose a wildfire hazard. If you light a Category 2 open fire, you must monitor it at all times because you are responsible for any fire you light.
If you live in an urban or semi-rural area where you’re not allowed to burn your yard debris — or if you choose not to burn it for other reasons — there are plenty of other ways to dispose of yard waste. They include: chipping composting curbside pickup community-wide or neighborhood cleanup days taking yard debris to a landfill If you choose to burn your yard waste, remember to only burn woody debris and other natural vegetation from your yard. Do not burn plastics, treated wood, paper, cardboard, asphalt , rubber or petroleum products.
It’s important for you to know which jurisdiction (or jurisdictions) you live and work in, so you know which burning bylaws govern your property or worksite. The Wildfire Management Branch has jurisdiction if there are no local burning bylaws in place. The first step is to confirm which local government you pay your taxes to, but that may not always be the full story. In some cases, your land may be in one jurisdiction but the bylaws that determine when or if you can conduct an open burn are dictated by a local fire department’s operating boundaries or its area of responsibility. Make sure that you are very clear about which local government jurisdiction and which fire department jurisdiction you fall into. It’s not only private citizens who should confirm which jurisdiction they’re in. On April 20, 2014, lightning struck a tree in North Vancouver near Cypress Mountain. MetroVancouver Regional District dealt with the resulting fire, but some media outlets and members of the public assumed that since the fire was in forested land, was the responsibility of the Wildfire Management Branch. While we are always willing to assist other agencies, this particular fire was within the jurisdiction of another very capable group of wildland first responders.
Burning trash in a burn barrel is not an ideal way to dispose of waste and comes with a number of risks:
If the barrel is not anchored well, it could tip over.
Clear all flammable material from an area at least 10 feet around the barrel in all directions, right down to mineral soil.
Fires in burn barrels tend to burn at relatively low temperatures, since oxygen levels inside a barrel are lower than with an open fire. These fires can also produce a lot of smoke that may contain toxic substances. Pollutants released into the air may stay close to the ground, where they could be easily inhaled. If you choose to use a burn barrel, follow these safety guidelines:
Cover air vents at the bottom of the barrel with halfinch metal mesh or punch holes (no greater than half an inch in diameter) in the sides of the barrel. This will increase the fire’s air supply and allow for hotter, cleaner burning.
Cover the barrel with heavy metal mesh (“hardware cloth”) or a lid that has holes measuring no greater than half an inch in diameter. Many wildfires that are caused by people are the result of backyard fires that have got out of control.
The Wildfire Management Branch’s Incident Command Structure (ICS) has a well-established line of authority and reporting relationships, with lower levels reporting up but communicating both up and laterally within the structure. At the top of the command structure is the incident commander (IC), who manages the organization of the fire response but not the fire incident itself. The incident commander’s main role is to establish immediate priorities to deal with the fire, including determining the main objectives, establishing the level of response necessary to meet those objectives, and acting as a conduit for all decisions. When deployed on a small fire, a crew leader may act as the incident commander overseeing a crew of two. In the case of large or complex fire incidents, this role may be filled by more than one individual. In situations where multiple jurisdictions are involved (or a single jurisdiction is working with multiple agencies), a unified command allows agencies with different legal, geographic and authorities to work
The Coastal Fire Centre has been busy welcoming back our last round of employees. This group largely consists of students who work May to September. As this last group returns the last round of fitness testing is being completed and Hover Exit Certification undertaken this week on the Island and in Pemberton.
A series of prescribed burns are underway in the Pemberton area. These controlled burns started on May 7, 2014, and will continue through to May 30, 2014. The burns will cover 32 hectares about two hectares east of D’Arcy. The Coastal Fire Centre is working with the N’Quatqua Band Council and the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of BC to complete this project.
together effectively. For example, during the Galiano Island fire in 2006, the Coastal Fire Centre shared command with the chief of the local fire department. The Wildfire Management Branch’s command structure is similar in some ways to what’s used in the military. The chain of command is static, but the individuals are interchangeable. A defined chain of command means that there is an orderly line of authority and pre-determined reporting relationships within the ranks of the organization, with lower levels reporting to and connected to higher levels. The incident commander is the individual (or a group of individuals) who is responsible for all fire incident activities, from developing strategies and tactics to the ordering and use of resources (such as equipment and crews). The incident commander has overall authority for conducting fire incident operations and is responsible for the management of all incident operations at the fire site.
Every function within ICS has an identifying colour— Green Indicates Command.
SYNOPSIS: A fast moving, relatively dry and quite weak cold front surged in from the southwest last night to bring a few brief showers and lightning strikes to the Lower Mainland. That system is already gone having crossed the Coast Mountains in the last few hours but is followed by an ongoing onshore flow which will bring a mix of clouds and sunny periods and a few more showers—especially along the windward slopes of the coast ranges this afternoon and evening. Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler today, humidity higher but winds continue light. That low remains off our west coast tomorrow and continues to circulate clouds and showers over Coastal zones for the weekend. Weekend rainfalls will be patchy and some stations (mainly Vancouver Island) likely see no rain. OUTLOOK: By late Sunday a new ridge is replacing the exiting low and a clearing trend starts. Monday likely sees most areas cloudy in the morning and sunny by afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday will be sunny but temperatures will not be overly warm and the upper winds continue from the north. 6 TO 10 DAY: The ridge next week will never be strong and probably disappears before the week is over. Warmest weather of the week on Thursday with many highs reaching the upper 20s. After that, a fast moving trough moves through probably with only a chance of showers and is followed by a new ridge developing in time for the weekend of the 24th.
Information about Wildfires from the Coastal Fire Centre in British Columbia