VICTORIA -- Starting this week, open burning will be banned in much of southwestern British Columbia, including on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland.

The fire ban begins Friday at noon in an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires as temperatures rise across the province.

Small campfires will still be allowed under the ban, but the open burning of any materials and the large-scale burning of grass or brush will be prohibited.

Anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the area and have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

Any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide will also be prohibited.

Fireworks, sky lanterns, exploding targets and burn barrels are also banned come Friday.

The B.C. forestry ministry says violation tickets for contravening the ban can run between $1,150 and $10,000, including administrative penalties.