Unhappy camper: Some BC Parks’ sites missing this campground staple

If you are planning to go camping this summer at a BC campsite, you might want to double-check where you’ve managed to snag one of those much-coveted spots from BC Parks.

Otherwise, you could be left an unhappy camper.

That’s the case for some folks online who discovered their campsite had been “robbed” of its fire pit and the pits at neighbouring sites.

“I am at Maple Bay Cultus Lake and they have removed the fire pits 😩”one person wrote on social media, adding, “We asked around, and no one knows. It’s almost empty today and no fire pits anywhere around.”

Cultus Lake


While some in the comments commiserated with the discovery, others made jokes.

“You have to pay extra carbon tax on fire pits,” one person said.

However, many were able to clear up the confusion by pointing out that some campsites are under a Clean Air Policy, which means they don’t come with a fire pit.

“A clean air policy is in effect at this campsite. Wood burning campfires are not allowed,” the BC Parks website states regarding about two dozen sites in the Maple Grove Campsite.

Cultus Lake

All the sites to the left are clean-air sites at Maple Grove near Cultus Lake, according to BC Parks (BCparks.ca)

The confusion led to a discussion on a local Facebook group, where many shared that they didn’t know that some BC Parks policies would prevent them from having s’mores despite the absence of a fire ban unless they brought a non-wood-burning fire themselves.

“Are you in one of the sites from 66-97? Those are clean air sites. No smoke there,” someone explained.

While you cannot sort on the website by sites with or without campfire clauses, the information is provided once you select the site for consideration, something that many can’t stop and read when they are frantically trying to get a campsite booking before many others.

It’s not the only area where those who prefer not to be smoked out can still enjoy the outdoors.

BC Parks’ website lists other campgrounds with such policies, including Pinecone Burke Park and Say Nuth Khaw Yum Park (Indian Arm Park).

campsites pnw

Virrage Images/Shutterstock

Currently, BC has only banned category 2 and 3 fires, which are essentially fires larger than .5 metres (or three feet).

As of May 24, campfires are allowed in most areas of the province except in a regional district, municipality, or First Nation that has specified other restrictions.