Thanks to the recent hot, dry weather conditions, the fire danger rating in the City of Vernon is listed as high.
Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) is urging everyone to practice extreme caution while conducting outdoor activities to help prevent the start of a human-caused wildfire.
“Fire crews have already responded to a number of grassland fires so far this season,” said Fire Chief David Lind. “When we are experiencing heat like we’ve seen this spring, the risk of wildfire can increase. However, there are a number of things that can be done to help protect yourself, each other and the community.”
Campfires, outdoor maintenance, and recreation reminders
Campfires which comply with the City of Vernon Good Neighbour and Fire Services Bylaws are still permitted within the municipal boundary. However, please remember:
• Only burn dry, seasoned wood;
• Never leave a fire unattended;
• Keep water or a hand tool nearby at all times when the campfire is lit;
• Ensure the fire is fully doused before walking away at the end of your time outside.
To reduce wildfire risks, be mindful with the discarding of cigarettes and while using spark-producing machinery such as welders, mowers, chainsaws, grinders, power tools and any equipment that could strike a rock and create a spark.
People doing this sort of work may be required to have fire suppression systems and equipment available, maintain a fire watch after operations are completed and comply with shutdown regulations.
People should also make sure their motorized off-road vehicles are equipped with spark arrestors, since all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles may also pose a wildfire risk.
Residents are reminded that consumer fireworks and sky lanterns are not permitted within the City of Vernon boundaries. The use or storage of fireworks without a permit may result in a fine of up to $300 and multiple fines may be issued for a single infraction.
“Current conditions in the region are expected to continue for the next several days. And, while there is precipitation in the forecast for the weekend, which may help to lower the fire danger rating in the days ahead, we need to practice fire safety all the time,” said Lind. “We appreciate everyone’s help in keeping our community safe and for practicing fire safe behaviours.”
For the latest information on current wildfire activity and burning restrictions in British Columbia, visit bcwildfire.ca. To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or toll-free *5555 on a cell phone. To report a local fire or emergency, please call 911.