Starting Friday, a complete campfire ban goes into effect for the District of Summerland and surrounding areas.
Effective at noon on July 3 and until further notice, all open burning, including campfires and fireworks, will be prohibited throughout the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen in conjunction with the municipalities of Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos, Princeton, Village of Keremeos and the Hedley Improvement District.
The fire danger rating is currently high to extreme throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, prompting an overall ban throughout the region. With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires in the region have displayed aggressive behaviour and have required additional firefighting resources. Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources and crews from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.
This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. A map of the area covered by this open burning prohibition and campfire ban is available online at: http://bit.ly/1sfqVr9.
This ban does not restrict fires in cooking stoves using gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating (providing the flame height does not exceed 15 centimetres) but does restrict fires in portable wood burning fireplaces and campfires.
The Kamloops Fire Centre burning prohibition, which covers all B.C. parks and Crown lands, applies to open fires of any size, industrial burning, fireworks, tiki torches, sky lanterns and burning barrels.
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. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire or an open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to www.bcwildfire.ca.