Fire bans take effect today in Okanagan

Effective at noon on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires, as well as some other activities and the use of certain equipment, will be restricted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

This prohibition will remain in effect until noon on Oct. 15, 2019, or until the order is rescinded. Anyone conducting Category 2 or Category 3 burns within the Kamloops Fire Centre's jurisdiction must extinguish those fires by the June 12 deadline.

A map of the affected area is available online: http://ow.ly/Ah4h30oUb2Z

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

Specifically, prohibited activities will include:

* the burning of one or more open fires larger than two metres high by three metres wide;

* stubble or grass fires of any size;

* the use of fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, tiki torches (and similar kinds of torches);

* the use of burning barrels and burning cages of any size or description, except when used for a campfire as defined by the Wildfire Regulation; and

* the use of binary exploding targets (pre-packaged or homemade explosives, such as Tannerite, Thundershot, Gryphon, Firebird SS65, Sure Shot or similar products).

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within the Kamloops Fire Centre, unless specified otherwise in an enactment (e.g., in a local government bylaw). Before lighting any fire, people should check with local government authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in effect.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $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.

The Kamloops Fire Centre would like to thank the public for its continued help in preventing wildfires. Report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca