Lightning strikes over Summerland during a thunderstorm on the evening of Aug. 4. While there has been some rain since the beginning of August

Campfires banned in region

The hot and dry summer weather has led to a fire ban throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre.

The hot and dry summer weather has led to a fire ban throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre.

The ban took effect on Thursday, Aug. 1, when the danger rating was high, with a few scattered pockets where the rating was extreme.

The ban covers all provincial parks, crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments.

Melissa Welsh, fire information officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre, said the ban was issued because of the hot and dry summer weather.

“We put it in place to prevent or decrease the number of human-caused fires,” she said.

Normally, half of all wildfires in B.C. are caused by human activity.

This year, 72 per cent of wildfires have been caused by human activity.

Human-caused wildfires can divert resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring fires.

While the campfire ban is in place, campers may still use cooking stoves fueled by gas, propane or briquettes or a portable campfire apparatus as long as the flame is no higher than 15 centimetres.

Those violating the ban could be issued a ticket for $345.

Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or carelessness could be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.

The Summerland Fire Department will be issuing its own fire ban during the period of the regional ban.