B.C. campers fined $25K for violating fire ban over period of 4 days

Conservation officers issued more than $25,000 worth of fines last week after catching people breaking B.C.'s campfire ban – even as the province was grappling with a growing number of raging wildfires.

The government implemented the ban on June 30, citing the record-breaking summer heat that has elevated the wildfire risk to extreme in many areas of B.C.

But that risk apparently wasn't enough to convince some campers to make alternative cooking arrangements.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said 22 tickets for violating the campfire ban were issued from July 1 to 4, with the highest number being dished out in the South Coast and Kootenay regions.

At $1,150 per ticket, the fines total $25,300.

In a social media post, the BCCCOS warned that "patrols will continue over the summer."

B.C.'s campfire ban is scheduled to remain in effect until Oct. 15, unless the government decides it's safe to rescind it sooner.

"Wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility. Human-caused wildfires are completely preventable and divert critical resources away from lightning-caused fires," the Ministry of Forests said in a news release last week.

Campfires are defined as any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide. The government has also banned Category 2 and 3 open fires, as well as the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and several other potentially hazardous items.

Outdoor stoves and other portable camping apparatus that lack a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriter Laboratories of Canada (ULC) rating are also prohibited.