Category 2 open burning bans are being expanded to the entire Prince George Fire Centre, ahead of the May long weekend.

Since April 1st, the BC Wildfire Service says 50 fires have taken place in the local fire centre with all of them being human-caused.

“And now we’re including the entire fire centre so that includes the Robson Valley, Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fort Saint James, and Mackenzie are now restricted to do any sort of Category 2 open burning,” says Amanda Reynolds, Fire Information Officer.

The ban takes effect at noon on Thursday.

As for what the ban includes, Reynolds, explains what can and can’t be used while the prohibition is in effect.

“Category 2 prohibition includes the open burning of any material piled or unpiled smaller than two metres high and three metres wide, it also prohibits the use of burning barrels, burning cages, the use of air curtain burners, the use of exploding binary targets, sky lanterns and the use of fireworks.”

“This is due to the dry conditions and the hot forecast as we are going to continue in this hot, dry trend and the forest is drying out.”

The ban does not apply to Category 3 fires or campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller.

Anyone found in violation of the open burning ban may be issued a ticket for $1,150, an administrative penalty of $10,000 or fined up to $100,000 and a year in jail.

A map of the area affected by the Category 2 open burning prohibition is available online here.