The Kamloops Fire Centre will implement a Category 3 fire ban starting on May 3.

The ban will go into effect at noon on May 3, meaning that all fires must be extinguished by then. 

The prohibition will remain in effect until noon on Oct. 11 or until the fire centre decides to end it.

The Kamloops Fire Centre includes the Merritt Fire Zone, Penticton Fire Zone, Vernon Fire Zone, Kamloops Fire Zone and Lillooet Fire Zone.

A Category 3 fire is defined as an open fire larger than two metres by three, burning three or more piles larger than two by three metres, or burning an area of grass larger than 0.2 hectares. 

Those found violating the ban could be issued a ticket for $1,150, an administrative penalty of up to $10,000, or if convicted in court be fined up to $100,000 or spend one year in jail. If an illegal burn causes or contributes to a wildfire, the individual who started it may be ordered to pay for all firefighting and associated costs. 

The current ban does not include Category 1 campfires or Category 2 open fires. For more information on the types of open burning can be found at the British Columbia’s government website.