Burn restrictions ended for high smoke sensitivity zones

The province has ended two-and-a-half months of specialized burn restrictions in northeast B.C.

The restrictions were put in place for high sensitivity smoke zones at the end of March due to COVID-19, which included several regional communities including Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Hudson's Hope, and Chetwynd.

The Ministry of Environment said this was to help limit human-caused wildfires and air pollution in the region that could have increased the likelihood of respiratory viral infections.

“B.C. is currently in Phase 2 of its restart plan and is moving towards Phase 3. COVID-19 activity in the province has been low,” reads an update from the ministry.

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“Given these circumstances, ENV will not continue with restrictions at this time, but will continue to monitor the situation and work with partner agencies. The public is encouraged to follow Provincial COVID health and safety protocols.”

Category 2 and 3 open fires remain banned throughout the province, as are fireworks and sky lanterns. Campfires are still allowed.

The Peace region has seen between 30 to 80 millimetres of rain over the weeked as a low pressure system moves over the region. Another 15 to 20mm are expected Monday.

Read more: Roads flooded, washed out by up to 80mm of rain

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

[Reader's Note: Article updates and clarifies that open burn prohibitions remain in effect for all Category 2 and 3 fires in the province.]

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