The province may close recreation sites if the fire ban within our region continues to be ignored.

That is the message from the BC Wildfire Service’s Coastal Fire Centre – the centre that overseas the Sea to Sky corridor and Sunshine Coast. They say fire bans within the region are still being ignored by the public. In a statement the BC Wildfire Service says that between July 15th and 17th over 50 illegal campfires were reported.

To compact illegal campfires enforcement will now be stepped up with increased patrols by both the Compliance and Enforcement Branch and the Conservation Officers Service. RCMP are also authorized to issue violation tickets under the Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulation. The maximum fine is $1,150 and would apply to every person in the vicinity of the fire.

On July 14th Squamish RCMP issued a $1,150 ticket after a group of 15 campers at Alice Lake Provincial Park had lit a campfire and refused to leave despite numerous warnings regarding the fire ban.

On July 8th Sunshine Coast RCMP say campers on Dunham Road in Port Mellon were warned of an illegal campfire. Police were then called back to the scene after the campers had restarted their fire. RCMP issued a $1,150 fine in accordance with the Wildfire Act.

RCMP are taking a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the fire ban. To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.