Editorial: Extreme weather

It should come as no surprise that it has been a year of extreme and turbulent weather.

As a wildfire larger than 2,700 hectares blazes near Princeton, record-breaking heat across the Okanagan and a campfire ban across the province — it all comes on the heels of the region’s substantial flooding.

Despite lake level warnings, we have seen, and in fact are still seeing, boaters creating potentially shore-damaging wakes. Despite the campfire ban, we are unfortunately likely to see fires and wreckless behaviour.

And campfires aren’t the only prohibited activities. The burning of waste or other materials; stubble or grass fires of any size over any area; the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description; the use of binary exploding targets and the use of air curtain burners are all prohibited.

Contravention of an open burning prohibition may result in a ticket for $1,150, an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, a fine of up to $100,000 and/or one year in jail. Moreover, if the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

It’s important to be cognizant of your surroundings and obey the restrictions put in place — they’re there for a reason.

Yes, it’s summer and it would be nice to sit around a campfire, but the associate gain does not outweigh the risk.

All it takes is one escaped ember or one carelessly thrown cigarette butt to spark a wildfire, as we’ve all seen before.

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