Fire ban information | Current conditions | Report a fire | FAQ

Fire Ban Information 

Fire Ban will be posted under the Important Bulletins section.

Backcountry Sites and Sidney Island:
  • Backcountry campfires, even on beaches and below the high tide mark, are prohibited at all time in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.
  • The following graphics explain what is prohibited and allowed at all time, regardless of if there is a fire ban or not.
Use of the following are prohibited in backcountry, at all times:

Wood burning campfire

Charcoal, briquette, or wood barbecues

Candles
 

Torches
 
Portable propane fire pits 
 
If you are unsure, please ask a Parks Canada staff member
 
Use of the following items is permitted in the backcountry, at all times :
Gas or propane stoves and barbecues designed specifically for cooking
 

Drive-in Campgrounds (SMONECTEN (McDonald) and Prior Centennial):

  • Campfires are allowed at drive-in campgrounds within the fire ring and outside a fire ban.
  • The following graphics explain what is prohibited and allowed during a fire ban.
Use of the following items is prohibited during a fire ban:

Wood burning campfire

Charcoal, briquette, or wood barbecues
 

Torches

Outdoor wood burning stove including cooking shelters

If you are unsure, please ask a Parks Canada staff member
Use of the following items is permitted during a fire ban:
Gas or propane stoves and barbecues designed specifically for cooking
Propane, catalytic, or infrared/radiant heaters
Propane or gas lanterns
 
Use of the following items is permitted during a fire ban, with conditions:
Portable propane Firepits (Flame length must be kept below 15cm) 
Portable propane Firepits(Flame length must be kept below 15cm) 
Report a fire

If you see a wildfire or an unattended or abandoned campfire, please report it to : 

  • Parks Canada Dispatch: 1-877-852-3100 
  • BC Wildfire Service: *5555 on your cell phone

Frequently asked questions

What is a fire ban?

A fire ban is a legal restriction on certain types of fires to prevent human-caused wildfires. In a national park, burning illegally could lead to a fine of up to $25,000.

How does the park decide if a fire ban is needed?

Fire bans are based on local fire hazards, current and forecasted weather conditions, the amount of moisture in vegetation, the regional wildfire situation, and the availability of responders and equipment.

Current and forecasted conditions are evaluated on a daily basis.

Why can’t I have a fire in backcountry campsites and on beaches? 

Due to the remote locations of our backcountry campgrounds, fire crews may have longer response times to these locations.

Illegal beach fires pose a safety hazard for other visitors and animals. Even if you think your fire is completely out, embers can remain and may re-ignite if conditions change.

Why is there a fire ban even though it is cold and rainy?

It takes a lot of rain to restore moisture to deep soil layers, trees, and logs that have dried out. Rain quickly evaporates when followed by warm temperatures and wind. This means fire danger can quickly return to high or extreme.

The regional wildfire situation may be more active. It is important for Parks Canada not to have human-caused fires divert resources from naturally caused ones in other areas.

Do I need to buy firewood? Can I use the dead branches near my campsite?

It is illegal to remove, deface, damage or destroy any flora or natural or cultural objects in the park reserve. Please purchase your firewood from the visitor services attendants or from local businesses. Please do not burn garbage.

Where can I have a fire once a fire ban is lifted?

Campfires are only allowed in designated fire pits in drive-in campgrounds.
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve has two drive-in campgrounds, SMONECTEN (McDonald) near Sidney, and Prior Centennial on Pender Island.

More information

Be fire safe and follow these rules

  • Never leave a flame unattended.
  • Do not throw cigarettes on the ground. Put them out and discard in a bin.
  • Report any sign of wildfire to BC Wildfire Service (*5555 on your cell phone) and Parks Canada Dispatch at 1-877-852-3100.