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Penticton joins campfire ban

Penticton firefighter Will Armstrong works on a recent  brush fire in the industrial park area of Penticton. - Mark Brett/Western News
Penticton firefighter Will Armstrong works on a recent brush fire in the industrial park area of Penticton.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

With temperatures shooting into the 90s this weekend, campers are unlikely to need a campfire to keep warm.

Which is a good thing, as the City of Penticton follows the lead of the Kamloops Fire Centre in banning campfires and other burning until further notice.

"This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety," Micheala Swan, fire information officer, said in a release. "The fire danger rating is currently 'high' throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, with scattered pockets of 'extreme.’”

As throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, all open burning is prohibited in the City of Penticton. This includes fire pits on the beaches, outdoor fire places and fireworks. Residents and visitors are reminded that campfires are not permitted on any public or private land within Penticton.

Though Penticton has so far escaped any major wildfires, other communities in the Kamloops Fire Centre — which stretches from Clearwater to the border and as far west as Lillooet, have not been so lucky.

Wildfires in the area have been extremely aggressive and require extra fire suppression resources due to the warm and dry air. Many of the fire have been human caused and use up critical resources for their management, according to fire centre representatives.

“The fire ban is in effect to protect public safety and to limit the risk of person-caused wildfires,” said Fire Chief Wayne Williams. “The Penticton Fire Department thanks the public for their cooperation in complying with the temporary fire ban.”

Outdoor barbecues and stoves using gas, propane or briquettes are permitted. A portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating using briquettes or liquid or gaseous fuel is also permitted, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

The ban also applies to all open burning throughout the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen in conjunction with the municipalities of Penticton, Summerland, Oliver, Osoyoos, Princeton, Village of Keremeos and the Ministry of Forest and Range, BC Forest Service-Kamloops Fire Centre.

 

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