Responsibility urged around campfires

As Summerland’s hot, dry weather continues, campers are urged to use caution around their campfires.

As Summerland’s hot, dry weather continues, campers are urged to use caution around their campfires.

Fire chief Glenn Noble said there have not been wildfires or grass fires of note so far this year, but the risk will increase as the hot weather leads to more drying.

He said a campfire which is not fully extinguished can easily spark a wildfire.

“People need to be responsible with their campfires,” he said. “We still get calls about abandoned campfires.”

At present, the fire danger rating is at four, or high, but not yet extreme.

In an effort to reduce the risk of a wildfire within Summerland, crews have worked to control the fuel at several municipally-owned properties.

This year, funding has been awarded to manage a portion of Canyon View Road and some land above the Deer Ridge subdivision. The work will not take place until the fall.

Earlier, land around Living Memorial Park and in the Pollock Terrace area was managed.

While these efforts can reduce the fire risk on municipal properties, the fire department does not clear privately-owned lands. Such work is the responsibility of the property owner.

Noble said the fire season seems to have shifted in recent years. Instead of the peak fire season from June to August, it now begins in July and continues into September, he said.

Last year, the most significant wildfire Summerland crews attended, covering between 0.6 and 0.8 hectares, occurred on Sept. 23.