Open burning prohibited throughout region

Continued hot, dry weather increases risk of forest fires.

As of Thursday, Aug. 1, all campfires will be prohibited across the Kamloops Fire Centre. This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The fire danger rating is currently “high” throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, with scattered pockets of “extreme”.

With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires in the region have displayed very aggressive behaviour and required additional fire suppression resources. Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires. The

The Wildfire Management Branch says a third of the fires it has responded to this year were caused by humans.

Open burning is prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. This prohibition applies to open fires of any size; fires with a burn registration number; industrial burning; fireworks; tiki torches; sky lanterns; and burning barrels. “Any kind of fire pit that is at a campsite, if you are burning wood, those apparatus are prohibited,” says Fire Information Officer Melissa Welsh.

The prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane, or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid, or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

The open burning prohibition covers all B.C. Parks, Crown, and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with local governments for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.

Anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison, and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.

This prohibition will remain in place until the public is notified that it has been rescinded. To report an unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or call *5555 on your cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures, and air quality advisories, go to www.bcwildfire.ca

Barbara Roden