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Coldstream calls for No Smoking provincial park signage

District responds to resident’s letter, concerned about fuel load inside Kal Lake Provincial Park
A fire broke out in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Friday, May 12. The District of Coldstream is calling for more No Smoking signage for the park from BC Parks and the Ministry of Environment, as well as for more park rangers adn enforcement. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Coldstream is turning up the heat on the Ministry of Environment and BC Parks.

Thanks to a letter from a concerned resident, council authorized Mayor Ruth Hoyte at its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 28, to send a letter to both groups, asking that they provide significant ‘no smoking/fire risk’ signage throughout Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.

The resident billed himself as a “frequent user” of the provincial park, and stated he was “increasingly concerned about the potential for wildfire given dry conditions and fuel load.”

“A fire needs a spark to start and the spark could very likely be a discarded cigarette butt,” wrote the resident. “Smoking is not allowed in the park but it occurs regularly as there is no signage or enforcement.”

The man also asked for, and council concurred, that funding be allocated toward an expansion of the BC Parks’ rangers and enforcement.

“As we are seeing across B.C., wildfire is occurring with more frequency and we need to put pressure on BC Parks to be proactive with the situation,” the resident said.

At the same meeting Monday, council endorsed its Extreme Heat Response Plan, a 30-page document prepared by Ottawa-based Calian Emergency Management Solutions.

The plan gives direction to staff to carry out prescribed actions in the event of an extreme heat warning or emergency, such as activating cooling centres, conducting wellness checks in the community, and providing information to the public on health and safety.

The full plan can be read here.

READ MORE: Smoky skies cloud Okanagan air quality

READ MORE: Spallumcheen commends Okanagan wildfire fight

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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