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More open burning restrictions coming into effect for Okanagan-Shuswap

Kamloops Fire Centre prohibitions include fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels
Category 2 open fires will be prohibited within the Kamloops Fire Centre as of noon on Friday, July 15, 2022. (Kamloops Fire Centre image)

More open burning restrictions are coming into effect this week.

As of noon on Friday, July 15, Category 2 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, which extends from north of Clearwater south to the Canada/U.S border and includes Salmon Arm, Kelowna, Vernon, Merritt, Lillooet and Penticton.

A ban on Category 3 open fires went into effect on June 30. These prohibitions are intended to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

Campfires, as defined in the Wildfire Regulation, are not being prohibited at this time.

Prohibited activities constituting a Category 3 fire include:

• Burning material concurrently in three or more piles, each not exceeding two metres in height by three metres in width,

• Burning material in one or more piles each exceeding 2 metres in height or 3 metres in width;

• Burning one or more windrows, or burning stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares.

A Category 2 fire is classified as one to two concurrently burning piles no larger that two metres high by three metres wide, or burning stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares.

Also prohibited are fireworks, sky lanterns and burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description, except when used for a campfire as defined by the Wildfire Regulation.

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within the Kamloops Fire Centre, unless specified otherwise in an enactment (e.g. in a local government bylaw).

They are to remain in effect until noon on Oct. 15, 2022, or until the orders are rescinded. Anyone conducting Category 2 open fires within the Kamloops Fire Centre must extinguish those fires by the July 15 deadline.

Before lighting any fire, the Kamloops Fire Centre advises checking with local government authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in effect.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $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 also be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555, or *5555 on a cell phone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1-888-3-FOREST or visit

Read more: Open burning ban for specific fires in Okanagan as wildfire season underway

Read more: Lightning storms spark dozens of wildfires in Yukon, heat warning issued
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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor, Salmon Arm Observer
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