Fire season off and running

Kamloops Fire Centre busy putting out poorly planned brush burning.

KAMLOOPS – Since Friday April 11, the Kamloops Fire Centre has responded to 10 new wildfires, all of which have been human-caused. Of the 32 fires that have occurred in the Centre since April 1, almost all were the result of poorly planned open burning.

This serves as a serious reminder to the public to be vigilant with any open fires and to ensure that they have contingency plans in place to extinguish fires that may escape.

While crews have responded to wildfires across the southern interior, a 20 hectare fire on Bridge River Rd. meant the evacuation of five homes in the area. The fire was discovered on Apr. 14 and engaged 21 firefighters. Crews are in the mop up stage and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

More than half of the wildfires across British Columbia this season have been located in the Kamloops Fire Centre, and all have been human-caused.

Before conducting a burn, check with your local fire department, municipality and regional district to see if any open burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.

If you are planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn over 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires), you must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717.

Always check the venting conditions before conducting an open burn. The venting index can be found at: http://www.bcairquality.ca/readings/ventilation-index.html

In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person’s legal obligations when using fire in or within one kilometre of forest land or grassland. If an outdoor burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.

The Kamloops Fire Centre would like to thank the public for its continued help in preventing wildfires. If you see flames or smoke, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on your cellphone.

Submitted