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Police ask Okanagan residents to butt out

The Kelowna RCMP have received recent reports from concerned citizens of the careless tossing of lit cigarette butts from vehicles and would like to remind the public of the dangers associated.

"With the onset of the summer heat, the Kelowna RCMP are taking reports of people throwing cigarette butts out of car windows," said Cnst. Kris Clark in a statement released Friday. "We treat these complaints very seriously and will investigate where there is sufficient evidence to do so…For those who lost their homes in the Okanagan Mountain Park fire of 2003 or in the wildfires since, those memories will never fade."

Where grounds exist, the RCMP will enforce fines under the Motor Vehicle Act and the Wildfire Act for littering, failing to extinguish and report a fire, dropping a burning substance, failing to comply with restricted area regulations and for lighting a fire against regulations and permit, to name a few options.

Fines under the Wildfire Act may exceed $5,000 and persons found responsible for causing a fire may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000,000 and/or up to three years imprisonment.

If you see someone toss a lit cigarette butt out of their car window, obtain the vehicle licence plate number and notify your local police immediately.

If you see a wildfire call toll free 1-800-663-5555 (*5555 on most cellular networks).

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