Mount Christie wildfire in Penticton, B.C., as seen on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Melodie Evanoff/Contributed to Black Press Media)

Mount Christie wildfire in Penticton, B.C., as seen on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Melodie Evanoff/Contributed to Black Press Media)

Fire department urges ‘extreme caution’ to prevent Okanagan wildfires

The fire danger rating in Vernon is currently listed as ‘high’

As wildfires burn across the province amid hot and dry conditions, Vernon Fire Rescue Services is urging people to practise extreme caution while taking part in outdoor activities.

With the fire danger rating in Vernon currently listed as ‘high,’ VFRS asked the public to take measures to help prevent human-caused wildfires in a statement released by the City of Vernon Thursday, Aug. 20.

Extreme caution is advised among those using spark-producing machinery, such as welders, mowers, chainsaws, grinders, power tools and any equipment that could strike a rock and create a spark.

“To help mitigate wildfire risks, people doing this sort of work may be required to have fire suppression systems and equipment available, maintain a fire watch after operations are completed and comply with shutdown regulations,” the statement reads.

People are also urged to be mindful when disposing of cigarettes, and to make sure their motorized off-road vehicles are equipped with spark arrestors since all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles may also pose a wildfire risk.

Anyone who sees or causes a wildfire has an obligation to report it and take action with available resources to extinguish it, if practical, VFRS said.

A total of 153 fires sparked across the province in the past seven days, according to the BC Wildfire Service dashboard.

To report smoke, flames or an open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone. To report a local fire, call 911.

READ MORE: Grass fire near Vernon DND grounds deemed suspicious by police

READ MORE: Falkland firefighters assist with Pentiction blaze


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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Wildfires