All open fires — including campfires — are prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes Summerland.
Even though fines and penalties may be imposed if someone is found to be in contravention of the prohibition, there have been violations within Summerland’s municipal boundaries.
“Overall it has been well respected and people have been pretty good,” said Fire Chief Glenn Noble.
“We have had four or five violations in the month or so since the ban was put in place.”
The fire ban went into effect on July 3, throughout most of the province and yet those who have been found in violation claim they are unaware of it, Noble said.
He explained that some of them were transients that were camping in the area.
On Saturday, Aug. 8, the Summerland Fire Department responded to a wild fire on the Summerland-Princeton Road.
The spot fire burned approximately one-tenth of a hectare, Noble reported.
“It was dealt with quickly by our guys and forestry did not attend,” he said.
Noble would remind the public that we are a long way from being out of the woods just yet, when it comes to wild fires.
The extremely dry conditions that we are now experiencing are expected to continue well into mid or late September, with the potential for an active fire to ensue.
“People tend to think summer is over at the end of August, but not here,” he said.
The fire prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.
In a recent briefing, Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek said that with the current drought ratings in the southern part of the province, it would take a “sustained period of rain” for the camp fire ban to be lifted.
He explained that because the soil is so dry, it cannot absorb water quickly enough, should there be any rainfall.
It would have to rain for many days to make any real difference.
Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.
They could also be liable for all firefighting costs should their campfire contribute to a wildfire.