Fire officials concerned for high school Sunrise party

With increased fire risk, local fire departments are warning people about potential fines

An annual tradition for high school students in the South Okanagan has fire officials worried about increased fire risk.

The ‘Sunrise’ party marks the start of the school year across the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. High school students from multiple schools find a spot in the bush and often start fires said RDOS media information officer Cameron Baughen.

He said that this year, with increased fire risk, local fire departments are warning people looking to party about potential fines and legal liability.

· Anyone found dropping a cigarette could be fined $575

· Anyone found in contravention of a fire prohibition may be fined up to $1,150

· If your fire escapes and results in a wildfire, you may be fined anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million and be sentenced to one year in prison,

· Most importantly is the health and safety of anyone impacted by an out of control fire.

Wildfire B.C. has asked for help from local fire departments and police to educate the public to the risks and have them enforce penalties. There has been no significant rain in the South Okanagan for over two months.

Camp fires can be reported to 911.