Community

Campfire ban remains for Okanagan

Effective as of  noon today,  the current campfire ban in the Kamloops Fire Centre will be rescinded in the Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Merritt and Lillooet fire zones.

However, a campfire ban remains in place in all of the Okanagan, including the Vernon and Penticton fire zones.

A map of the areas covered by the campfire ban is available online at: http://bit.ly/SwU2V3

This partial rescinding of the campfire ban is due to rain received overnight, resulting in lower fire danger ratings in the affected areas.

The campfire prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

Wildfire management branch personnel have responded to 65 wildfires in the past week in the Kamloops Fire Centre. Ninety-two percent of these wildfires have been contained to less than four hectares in size.

Over 400 personnel have contributed to this success, including local contract firefighting crews, fire wardens, pilots, heavy equipment operators and out-of-province initial attack crews. The fire centre thanks all of its partners for their co-operation during this period of increased wildfire activity.

Open burning continues to be prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. This prohibition applies to open fires larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide, fires with a burn registration number, industrial burning, fireworks and burning barrels.

The open burning prohibition covers all B.C. Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.

Anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.

This prohibition will remain in place until the public is notified that it has been rescinded.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to www.bcwildfire.ca.

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