News

Forest service establishes initial burning restrictions

Effective at noon on Sunday, May 15, open fires will be restricted within most of the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, which includes the Central Okanagan,  to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

The restriction will remain in effect until Oct. 15, or until further notice.

Specifically this ban prohibits:

• burning any waste, slash or other material

• burning stubble or grass

• the use of fireworks

• burning barrels of any size or description.

These open fires and burning activities are prohibited in all areas of the Kamloops Fire Centre except the Clearwater and Salmon Arm fire zones.

All open burning will be prohibited across the Kamloops Fire Centre effective June 15.

The ban does not apply to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

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

The Kamloops Fire Centre is currently experiencing dry conditions and an elevated fire hazard, which has resulted in 26 wildfires since April 1.

The public is asked to ensure campfires are not lit or kept burning during windy conditions, that adequate tools, water and people are on hand to contain a fire, and that it is fully extinguished before leaving the area.

This ban 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. Check with civic authorities for any restrictions before lighting a fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire ban may be issued a ticket for $345, or if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail.

If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Kamloops Fire Centre covers the area from the northern border of Wells Gray Park, north of Blue River to the U.S. border in the south, and from the Bridge River Glacier west of Goldbridge to the Monashee Mountains east of Lumby.

Updates on restrictions and bans as well as a map of the prohibition area are available at www.bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp.

 

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