Campfires banned

Following a campfire ban in the region, the municipality has banned campfires within Summerland.

Following a campfire ban in the region, the municipality has banned campfires within Summerland.

The ban took effect July 16 at noon.

Fire chief Glenn Noble said the open fire ban was implemented to reduce the risk of person-caused fires.

Recent hot and dry weather has resulted in an extreme fire danger rating.

While the ban prohibits open burning, campers are still able to use gas and propane stoves and briquettes.

Campfire bans are implemented almost every year during hot and dry conditions, but Noble said the early date for this year’s ban is unusual.

Last year, the fire ban came into effect at the end of July.

There have been numerous small fires in the region so far this year, including fires in the Okanagan to the north and south of Summerland.

“Most of the fires have been started by people,” Noble said.

Kayla Pepper, fire information officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre, said the conditions in the region range from high to extreme.

There have been some significant fire seasons in the Okanagan, including the 2003 season when conditions were extremely dry.

More recently, there have been serious fires in Peachland and West Kelowna in the last few years.

In the region, crews are battling several fires.

The Smith Creek fire near West Kelowna is 260 hectares in size and is 60 per cent contained.

The Jura fire, west of Summerland along the Princeton-Summerland road, is estimated at 460 hectares. It is 90 per cent contained.

South of Penticton, the Boot Hill fire is 101 hectares in size and 60 per cent contained.

A fire on Apex Mountain is 345 hectares in size and is 75 per cent contained.

An evacuation order is in effect for the Smith Creek fire, while evacuation alerts are in effect for Jura and Apex Mountain.