The size of open fires will be restricted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre – which includes the Vernon and Salmon Arm fire zones – to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.
The restriction goes into effect at noon Friday, thanks to current and forecasted hot and dry weather conditions.
Currently, the fire-danger rating ranges from “moderate” to “high,” with some areas already rated “extreme.”
Since April 1, Kamloops Fire Centre crews have responded to 26 wildfire incidents. All of these fires were human-caused and therefore preventable.
“This prohibition is intended to reduce the risk of wildfire throughout the region,” said Kelsey Winter, fire information officer.
This prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 15 or until further notice.
Specifically, prohibited activities include:
n The burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled) at a size larger than one-half metre by one-half metre;
n The burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time.
n Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area.
n The use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description.
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest-fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.
Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local authorities regarding any current prohibitions.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail.
If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The Kamloops Fire Centre stretches from the northern border of Wells Gray Provincial Park to the U.S. border to the south, and from the Bridge River Glacier west of Gold Bridge to the Monashee Mountains east of Lumby.