Abandoned campfire sparks upset

Less than a day after fire ban lifted, fully-burning blaze found unattended in Lake Country

Not even a day after B.C.’s burning ban was lifted and an abandoned campfire was discovered in Lake Country.

A couple area residents came across the fire, which included a mess, at approximately 7:30 a.m. up Beaver Lake Road.

“My boyfriend and our buddy came across a fully burning, unattended trashed site,” reports Vernon resident Brittany Booth, who wonders if the fire ban should have been kept in place. “Perhaps rescinding the fire-ban is not a great idea at this time?”

The B.C-wide fire ban was lifted Friday at noon, while some jurisdictions, such as Vernon, Armstrong, Spallumcheen and Enderby have decided to continue with the ban in their respective areas.

Lake Country fire chief Steve Windsor was not aware of the incident, as it is within BC Forest Service boundary. But he defends the decision to follow suit of the province.

“We had quite a bit of discussion back and forth,” said Windsor. “We felt in the valley it would send a mixed message if we kept it on and the forest service did not.”

In fact, the department fielded a number of calls over the weekend from residents wondering if the ban was in place.

With nighttime temperatures dipping down to 8-11 degrees Celsius this week, Windsor believes it’s safe to have fires.

“Generally people are very responsible,” he said adding that in the municipalities, there aren’t a lot of wildfires that are sparked as a result of campfires.

Meanwhile backyard burning is being delayed in Lake Country, which normally opens up Oct. 1.

“We felt it was a little premature,” said Windsor.