Wildfire danger rating declines

Due to the rainfall that has come with the beginning of September, the fire hazard for our region has fallen to the low to very low rating.

Due to the rainfall that has come with the beginning of September, the fire hazard for our region has fallen to the low to very low rating.

This is on the other end of the spectrum compared to the July ratings, which were at  extreme danger.

The Kamloops Fire Centre reports there were 314 fires in its area since April 1 of this year, resulting in 3,569 hectares burned.

Of the seven zones within the region, the Penticton zone, which includes Summerland, was reported as being the third busiest zone, with the second most hectares burned. There were a total of 64 fires in this zone.

Some of these fires are still being monitored and patrolled by crews as a precautionary measure. It is possible for the fire to continue to burn underground for some time. Several days of sustained rainfall is required in order for a fire to no longer be listed on patrol status.

As to the causes of these fires, it has been determined that 160 of them were caused by lightening, while 154 are thought to be of human origin.

Fire Origin and Cause Investigators are working closely with local governments and fire departments as well as with the RCMP, in order to solve these still open investigations, of the human caused fires. The goal and the end result of their work will be that of laying charges against those found to be responsible.

The Kamloops Fire Region still has a ban in place with regards to any burn, larger than a small campfire. The size of the campfire must only be one-half metre wide by one-half metre high. People are also not allowed to use burning barrels or to set off fireworks or to use sky lanterns.

Typically for our region these prohibitions are rescinded as of Oct. 15. For most, this is just in time for fall yard cleanup, when backyard burning often takes place.