The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is warning campers to be vigilant and prepared to move on short notice. Submitted photo.

Campers urged to be vigilant

Regional district reinforcing caution warnings for those using the outdoors

It’s a message that seems to take some time to sink in, but the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is warning campers and people using the outdoors to exercise extra caution and be prepared to move on short notice.

The threat of wildfire is very real. If you’re planning a camping trip, it’s important to be vigilant about fire safety.

Open burning is prohibited and a campfire ban is in place throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS). Forest use restrictions are also in place in the vicinity of Placer Lake.

Related: Illegal campfires prompt $48,000 in fines over B.C. Day weekend

Discarded cigarette butts, campfires, hot exhaust pipes coming into contact with dry grass and vegetation, power tools (such as chainsaws,) Tiki torches and even discarded glass can all ignite a wildfire.

Whether you’re camping close to town or in the backcountry, you need to have a plan in place in case an evacuation alert or order is issued.

Local governments are working with BC Parks, BC Wildfire and campground operators to provide as much notice as possible prior to issuing an evacuation order. When wildfire conditions change suddenly, it may be necessary to leave the area immediately.

That happened in late July and early August, when the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre issued evacuation orders for campgrounds threatened by wildfire. Campers had to leave their tents, trailers, vehicles and camping equipment behind.

Evacuation orders are only issued when there is a potential risk to human safety. Whenever possible, the RDOS proactively communicates with park operators about the potential for an evacuation order to be issued. This is done to ensure a planned exit is possible and to avoid causing panic. At certain times, immediate tactical evacuations occur to ensure public safety.

A tactical evacuation may be issued with a limited warning.

If conditions allow, those affected by an evacuation order may be given access to retrieve vital belongings, but only if authorized by the EOC and incident command.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

Column: Star Gazing: Binoculars for Christmas

Looking for a Christmas gift for your astronomer?

Christmas wish for Mirielle: love and carpets

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Student view: Penticton senior dishes on high school life

Kevin Styba-Nelson is a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School

Vegan chocolatiers set up shop in Penticton

Celine Nativel and David Mullner, of Maison Mulnati French Vegan Chocolates, discuss their craft

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

Shuswap tennis club’s indoor facility construction moving at a smooth clip

Volunteer support has been crucial, opening expected in April 2019.

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Most Read