Hot and dry weather is in the forecast for the North Okanagan over the next few days, so the B.C. Wildfire Service is preparing for increased wildfire activity and asking members of the public to report any smoke or fires that they see.
The fire danger rating throughout the region is currently moderate to high and residents should be cautious with campfire use and other outdoor activities that could cause fires. For example, heat or sparks from dirt bike and ATV exhaust systems could easily start a wildfire in tall grass.
Although campfires are still permitted throughout the region, they may not be larger than a half-metre wide or a half-metre high. Anyone who leaves a campfire unattended for any length of time can be fined $1,150. A poster explaining B.C.’s campfire regulations is available online at: www.gov.bc.ca/campfireregs
Larger Category 2 and Category 3 open fires are currently prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre at all elevations. Other prohibited activities include the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any type, and exploding binary targets. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca