A bomber drops retardant on a small wildfire in the mountain above Eagle Rock Road in Spallumcheen Monday morning.

A bomber drops retardant on a small wildfire in the mountain above Eagle Rock Road in Spallumcheen Monday morning.

Campfire ban in effect for long weekend

Entire Kamloops Fire Centre, including Vernon, under campfire ban, effective Thursday at noon

Tinder dry fire conditions have sparked a campfire ban, just in time for the long weekend.

With all of the hot, dry weather recently, there is currently a high fire rating for Vernon (recently downgraded from extreme). Despite some rain in the forecast, outdoor enthusiasts won’t be able to gather around the campfire this weekend.

“When we’re experiencing high to extreme ratings for several days that’s typically when we look at implementing a campfire ban,” said Melissa Welsh, Kamloops Fire Centre fire information officer.

Even with rain in the forecast, forest fuels are very dry, explains Welsh.

“So if there’s a wildfire it spreads very rapidly.”

The campfire ban is in effect as of Thursday at noon for the entire Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes Vernon.

Environment Canada is currently forecasting slightly cooler temperatures later this week and for the weekend (25 to 28 C). There is also a chance of showers Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“There might be some lightning with that rain so we’re reminding the public that if they see smoke to report it,” said Welsh, noting the 1-800-663-5555 BC Wildfire reporting number (or *5555 on a cell phone). “We rely on people reporting.”

Fire crews contained a small wildfire on the mountain above Eagle Rock Road in Spallumcheen Monday.

Air support and an initial attack crew were used to contain the less than one-quarter of a hectare blaze.

“We received reports of it at eight (Monday) morning,” said Welsh of the blaze that was 100 per cent contained by 6 p.m.

Armstrong resident Kenneth Buck reported the fire while having coffee on his verandah.

“I am very impressed with how well and how quickly it was handled,” said Buck.

A cause of the rank one fire, which was burning in heavy timber on the mountain side, has not been determined.

To date, there have been 137 wildfires in the Kamloops fire centre, burning 1,847 hectares.