The Central Okanagan Regional District is warning the public about the extreme fire danger that currently exists thanks in large part to the recent hot, dry weather.—Image credit: Capital News file

Fire threat now extreme in Central Okanagan

Regional district is warning the public to be careful and vigilant when it comes to fire.

It didn’t take long for the hot, dry weather to jack up the fire danger rating in the Central Okanagan.

According to Regional District of Central Okanagan, the fire hazard is now considered extreme.

It says residents can expect to see ratings stay at high or extreme and should monitor BCWildfire.ca or local fire department information to understand the current level of risk.

“Fire departments throughout the Central Okanagan remind residents and visitors to be very careful with their use of any fire and fuel sources,” said a news release from the RDCO issued Tuesday morning. ” All smoking materials should be carefully snuffed out and motorists are reminded not to toss cigarettes or other smoking materials from their vehicle.

Smoking is not allowed in any RDCO regional park or municipal park in the Central Okanagan. Smoking is also prohibited in children’s play areas, sports fields, undeveloped parks and wilderness trails in the District of Peachland.

In the Central Okanagan, open burning is not allowed at this time of year. Violators could receive a fine and be charged the cost of the fire department response to a burning complaint. Residents are encouraged to report anyone who is illegally burning by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Centre at 250-469-8577.

As well, local bylaws prohibit the use of any fireworks at any time throughout most areas of the Central Okanagan. Use of fireworks in the District of Lake Country and City of West Kelowna must be approved in writing by the fire chief.

At the present time, campfires are only allowed with certain size restrictions in West Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas.

Anyone having a campfire must be very careful, ensure the fire doesn’t escape and have appropriate tools on hand to fully extinguish it. Campfires are not allowed at any time of year in the City of Kelowna.

Anyone who sees smoke or fire should immediately call 9-1-1 or *5-5-5-5 for the B.C. Wildfire Service.

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