Although there is no campfire ban in place for the Regional District of North Okanagan as of April 3, 2020, it is discouraging its residents from having them as air pollution can increase susceptibility to the COVID-19 virus. All burn permits, however, have been cancelled. (File)

North Okanagan district discourages campfires amid COVID-19

Campfire ban in effect for RDCO but not for neighbour district in the north

COVID-19 has snuffed campfires in the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) as of April 3, but its northern neighbour hasn’t followed suit.

The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with provincial public health partners, issued provincewide burning restrictions March 26.

“There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function,” said Daniel Bings, with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

The RDCO took it a step further and put a stop to campfires, as well.

The campfire ban affects all municipalities and electoral area fire service areas including the City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Westbank First Nation, and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas.

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) has already cancelled all burn permits within the fire protected areas of Electoral Areas B and C as of March 30, but it hasn’t implemented any further restrictions at this time.

“We do, however, encourage people to not have outdoor fires as even small fires add to air pollution,” the RDNO communications officer said.

The RDNO continues to evaluate all measure to improve the health and safety of its citizens.

READ MORE: Increased coronavirus cases spark B.C.-wide burning restrictions

READ MORE: COVID-19: ‘This is going to go on for a while,’ Vernon mayor says


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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