Fire ban takes effect Sunday

Effective noon Sunday open fires will be restricted within most of the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

Effective noon Sunday open fires will be restricted within most of the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

Dry conditions, which have resulted in 26 wildfires since April 1, are the reasons for introducing the ban.

Specifically the ban prohibits burning any waste, slash or other materials, burning stubble or grass and the use of fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description. Restrictions will remain in effect until Oct. 15 or until further notice.

The ban does not apply to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. Those lighting a campfire must maintain a fire guard by removing flammable debris from the campfire area and must have a hand-tool or at least eight litres of water nearby to properly extinguish a fire escape.

All B.C. Parks, Crown and private lands are covered in ban, but it does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Anyone found in contravention of an open fire ban may be issued a ticket for $345, or if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.