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Open burning restrictions loom for North Okanagan

Restrictions are being placed on open burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the North Okanagan. - Morning Star file photo
Restrictions are being placed on open burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the North Okanagan.
— image credit: Morning Star file photo

Effective at noon May 15, the size of open fires will be restricted in most of the Kamloops Fire Centre, including the North Okanagan, to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

Since April 1, Kamloops Fire Centre crews have responded to 38 wildfire incidents covering more than 438 hectares.

“Many of these wildfires resulted from poorly planned open burning,” said Kayla Pepper, Wildfire Management Branch information officer.

Anyone conducting category two or three fires must extinguish any such fires by noon May 15. This prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 15, 2014, or until further notice.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

* the burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled) larger than one-half metre by one-half metre

* the burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time

* stubble or grass fires of any size over any area

* the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

This prohibition covers all B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local  government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is  serviced by a fire department.

For information about open burning and tips on making responsible burning decisions, please download one of the open burning guides at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

“Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail,” said Pepper.

 

“If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.”

 

 

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