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Campfire ban lifted in Okanagan

The ban on campfires in the Okanagan has been lifted.

As of yesterday, the campfire ban that was in effect in the Vernon and Penticton fire zones was rescinded due to a decreased risk of wildfire. Campfires are now be permitted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Central Okanagan.

But the public is being reminded that campfires cannot be larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide. And anyone who lights a campfire must have a hand  tool (such as a shovel) or at least eight litres of water available nearby to fully extinguish it.

Campers are also advised to never leave a campfire unattended and make sure the ashes are completely cold to the touch before leaving the area where the fire was lit.

While the campfire ban has been lifted, all other types of open burning remain prohibited within the Kamloops Fire Centre. They include:

* The burning of any material larger than a half-metre high by a half-

metre wide.

* The burning of stubble or grass.

* Using fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description.

Anyone found in violation of an open fire prohibition could be issued a ticket for up to $345 and anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness could be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in jail and be held liable for associated firefighting costs.

The Kamloops Fire Centre extends 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.

The open fire 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.

Check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.

The open fire prohibition will remain in place until the public is notified that it has been rescinded.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:http://bcwildfire.ca.

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