Campfires again permitted in Kamloops Fire Centre, including South Okanagan

By on September 26, 2017

Campfires are again permitted on provincial and private lands in the South Okanagan, excluding municipalities such as Osoyoos that prohibit them with local bylaws. (Jon Sullivan photo)

Campfires are once again permitted in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the South Okanagan.

The ban is rescinded effective at noon on Friday, Sept. 22.

“A return to more seasonal weather conditions and recent precipitation has reduced the wildfire risk in these areas,” B.C. Wildfire Service says in a news release issued Friday morning.

The move also affects the Southeast and Cariboo fire centres.

Category 2 and Category 3 open fires, which are fires larger than 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres, remain prohibited in these three fire centres.

The use of sky lanterns, binary exploding targets, air curtain burners, fireworks, burning barrels or burning cages remain prohibited in the Southeast Fire Centre, but will be allowed in the Kamloops and Cariboo fire centres.

Tiki torches and chimineas are again allowed in all three fire centres.

People wishing to light a campfire must have ready access to at least eight litres of water or a shovel during the entire time the campfire is lit. They must completely extinguish the campfire and the ashes must be cold to the touch before they leave the area for any length of time.

Open burning prohibitions apply to all B.C. Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department.

Campfires within the Town of Osoyoos are prohibited under the town’s bylaws.

Anyone contravening a provincial open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150 with administrative penalties and court convictions reaching up to $100,000 and possibility of a one-year prison sentence.

If a contravention results in a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

Meanwhile, the number of active fires in B.C. has declined significantly, but several important fires continue to burn.

In this area, the Diamond Creek fire in the Ashnola Valley area has reached an estimated 12,453 hectares in Canada and is zero per cent contained.

That fire started in Washington State in late July and now covers 97,043 acres (39,272 hectares) in the U.S., where it is 70 per cent contained.

B.C. Wildfire Service is using a “modified response” to manage the fire on the Canadian side, which means they are allowing it to burn while monitoring it and using indirect attacks to keep it within a predetermined perimeter.

That fire, which is between Manning and Cathedral provincial parks, has resulted in the closure of Cathedral Provincial Park and some other nearby areas.

RICHARD McGUIRE

Osoyoos Times

 

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