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Contravening fire ban nets Vernon resident fine

Bylaw officer spots fire in oil drum ring on Okanagan Landing Road property; fire crews extinguish it
A Vernon resident has been fined after being caught contravening the fire ban and its rules currently in place in the city. (File photo)

Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) is reminding the public that a fire ban is in effect within the City of Vernon. The fire ban will remain in place until further notice.

The reminder is because one resident was caught burning material in an oil drum.

At approximately 10:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, firefighters were dispatched to a report of a fire on a property in the 6200-block of Okanagan Landing Road. Upon arrival, crews confirmed a tenant of the property had a large fire in a half oil drum ring, located near combustibles and trees, and burning treated wood and other prohibited materials.

Firefighters quickly and safely extinguished the fire using the department’s wildland truck. Following an investigation, fines were issued.

“The fire was first discovered by one of our Bylaw Compliance Officers,” said Darren Lees, manager, protective services. “We’re thankful there were no injuries reported in the incident, but the situation could have become much more serious very quickly, if the fire had ignited any of the nearby materials.

“We’re proud of the work our bylaw officer did with Fire Rescue Services to address this issue quickly to keep the community safe.”

Campfire bans have also been issued by the Province of British Columbia for all areas within the Kamloops Fire Centre, as well as a number neighbouring jurisdictions within the North Okanagan.

“The wildfire risk rating in Vernon is listed as extreme right now, which means all of us must take extra precautions to prevent fires in our community,” said Fire Chief David Lind.

“This is to keep residents, visitors, emergency responders, and properties safe. There is no excuse for not following the rules of a fire ban. If someone has a fire that contravenes the ban, a fine will be issued. This is a serious safety matter.”

A reminder that the following activities are prohibited within the City of Vernon and apply to all public and private lands:

• Campfires;

• Discarding burning substances near combustible material;

• Open air burning;

• Fireworks;

• Sky lanterns;

• Tiki torches and similar kinds of torches;

• Burn barrels or burn cages;

• Chimineas.

Non-compliance with the City of Vernon fire ban may result in fines up to $1,000 through the city’s municipal bylaws. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The above prohibitions do not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

READ MORE: Campfire ban now in effect for Okanagan-Shuswap

READ MORE: Free anti-racism program offered to North Okanagan-Monashee residents

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