August 15, 2013 - 11:21 AM
KAMLOOPS – Campfire bans are supposed to help keep human-caused fires to a minimum as wildfire crews work to keep lightning caused ones under control. That requires people to comply with the ban though, something that has not been happening in the region since the ban was implemented Aug. 1.
Seven $345 tickets and 11 warnings have been issued by Conservation Officer Service under the campfire ban over the past two weekends and fire information officer Kayla Pepper says she is surprised by the numbers.
“The numbers started coming in and we were surprised by them,” Pepper says. “What's going on?”
A number of abandoned campfires have been found as well, but it is nearly impossible to track them unless people report those having campfires.
“If you do see anyone who is having a campfire, collect any vehicle information,” Pepper says, “If we have a license plate number... that would help out the officers.”
While crews have been dealing with abandoned campfires and other human-caused activity, fire activity has also picked up as lightning storms continue to sweep through the region. Pepper says most have remained spot size, though several have grown quickly requiring additional action from crews.
As of yesterday, Aug. 14, B.C. Wildfire crews have attended a total of 400 fires in the region, including five new ones Wednesday. Of those five one was human-caused and four were due to lightning.
One about 7.5 km north of Spences Bridge and east of the Thompson River was believed to be 40 hectares but was mapped this morning at 26 ha. 22 firefighters are on site along with a water tender and fire activity has been fairly quiet so far today.
“It's burning in open grass, it's smouldering grounds with very little open flame and very little wind in the area, which is helping,” Pepper says, noting it is now 80 per cent contained.
Pepper says investigators are unsure as to the cause of the fire as nothing conclusive has been found yet.
B.C. Wildfire is attending some 150 wildfires in the region but Pepper says there are not many fires of concern at the moment, just many smaller fires keeping crews very busy, especially the initial attack and rappel crews.
Meanwhile Pepper hopes the cooler temperatures, low wind and possible rain in the forecast will help out crews.
“The rain would really help us out,” she says, noting sometimes rain only hits the higher elevations. “We're watching that pretty closely, we'll see if it actually makes an impact.”
To report a wildfire or prohibited campfire, call *5555 on your cellular phone or call toll-free to 1-800-663-5555.
To contact a reporter for this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013