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Here's when and where campfire bans are coming into effect in B.C.

Campfire bans will come into effect Thursday for most of B.C. and remain in place until October, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Category 1 bans have been announced for the Coastal Fire Centre, the Kamloops Fire Centre, the Prince George Fire Centre and the Cariboo Fire Centre.

"This prohibition is being enacted to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety," a bulletin from the service posted Tuesday explains. Also banned or restricted is the use of fireworks, "tiki" or similar torches, chimineas, or sky lanterns.

A campfire is defined as anything smaller than 0.5 metres wide and 0.5 metres tall. Larger open burning was already banned across the province as crews deal with a devastating start to the wildfire season.

"Anyone who lights, fuels or uses an open fire when a fire prohibition is in place or fails to comply with an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail, the wildfire service says.

"If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be subject to a penalty of up to $100,000 and ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs."

The ban comes as the province continues to see unseasonably hot and dry weather and amid a concerning level of fire activity for this early in the season.

The Donnie Creek Complex in northeastern B.C. has already burned an area larger than last year’s entire fire season combined – roughly the size of the Lower Mainland – and the number of fires so far is well above the same period last year, as well as the 10-year average.

Natural Resources Canada’s Fire Weather Index shows nearly half the province in the top danger range, with the BC Wildfire Service’s “Danger rating map” showing two-thirds of the province as moderate to high risk of wildfire, with pockets of extreme risk.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Penny Daflos. Top Stories

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