RCMP is now investigating a grass fire that was sparked late Saturday night in Kalamalka Provincial Park.
Police were called to assist the Coldstream Fire Department with the fire near the 9800-block of Coldstream Creek Road July 23, at approximately 11:30 p.m. The fire was contained and extinguished thanks to the quick response of fire crews and police are now investigating the origin.
“We’ve received information from witnesses who have reported seeing a flare in the vicinity prior to the fire starting,” said Const. Chris Terleski, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer. “It is under investigation and we’re certainly looking into the possibility that it may have been human caused.”
A recent period of hot weather has caused the fire index to jump significantly, therefore police are urging residents exercise caution and be fire smart.
“Careless acts can have devastating consequences; it only takes one spark to ignite a wildfire,” adds Terleski. “Really be aware of everything you are doing and do everything you can to minimize the risks of starting a fire. Dispose of cigarettes properly, never leave a campfire unattended, and always follow any burning restrictions.”
Penalties for contravening the Wildfire Act can include:
• Drop, release or mishandle burning substance: $575
• Fail to extinguish burning substance: $575
• Light, fuel or use fire against regulations: $1,150
• Fail to extinguish fire: $575
• Light, fuel or use fire against restriction: $1,150
• Fail to comply with fire restriction: $1,150
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP at 250-545-7171 and quote police file 2022-12773.
“The careless and thoughtless actions of a few could have had disastrous consequences for our community and area,” the District of Coldstream said in a press release Monday morning. “If not for the quick action of the Coldstream Fire Department we could have been faced with a massive interface wildfire.
“Ignorance is no excuse when dealing with fire risk and prohibitions in our community. Everyone is expected to know the rules and abide by them in order to protect our community.”
The district reminds all residents, visitors and users of local infrastructure of the current and increasing fire risk in the community. The fire risk is currently high for and is anticipated to intensify with higher temperatures in the coming days.
Within the District of Coldstream boundaries, the discharge of fireworks or flares is expressly prohibited without a permit. Failure to comply with the provincial or local fire prohibitions can result in fines of up to $10,000.
To report a wildfire or burning violation, call 1-800-663-555 toll free of *5555 on your cell phone. Within Coldstream you can also call 911 to report suspected fire activity as well as the discharging of fireworks or flares.
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