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Province-wide open fire ban

Province-wide open fire ban

Parched conditions and soaring temperatures have forced the province to take the extraordinary step of imposing a rare ban on all open burning across the province.

The ban began at noon today and remains in effect until further notice.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson says it covers everything from campfires to fireworks, tiki torches and exploding targets used for rifle practice.

Only the area known as the fog zone, a narrow strip along the extreme west coast of Vancouver Island, is exempt.

Gas, propane or briquette cooking stoves, as well as CSA-approved portable campfire systems with flames of 15 centimetres or less are still allowed, but the province says that could change if dry conditions persist.

Penalties for violating the ban begin with a $345 ticket and could include an administrative penalty of $10,000 plus fines of up to $100,000 and a year in jail.

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