July 25, 2014 - 2:42 PM
KAMLOOPS – Campers will have to continue find another way to stay warm and cook now that the province has decided not to remove the campfire ban, in effect since July 14, for the foreseeable future.
The exception is the Clearwater Fire Zone where the ban was lifted on Wednesday.
“The weather is returning to hot and dry starting Saturday,” fire information officer Kayla Pepper says. “With the hot dry weather comes a rising fire risk.”
The rain this week dropped the fire danger in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, but the hazard is expected to be back into the high to extreme range next week.
Wildfire Management is also expecting more “hold-over” lightning fires sparked by the thunderstorms which marched through the region on Wednesday.
There were six fires started by lightning. As the forest fuels dry out more wildfires could flare up.
“The system didn’t cause too many fires at the time,” Pepper says. “We could see those fires that are smouldering pop up next week.”
Crews need to be available for those expected fires and don’t want to be dealing with new, human-cause blazes.
It’s been a bad year for fires started by people.
As of July 25, 63 per cent of the wildfires in B.C. have been preventable, person-caused blazes.
Anyone caught with a campfire can be fined up to $345. If the campfire spreads and causes a wildfire, the fines go as high as $1 million and up to three years in prison. Plus there will be a bill for the cost of fighting the fire.
Plus there's a new way to report campfire ban violators. You can call 1-844-676-8477 or fill out a reporting form online. You can include maps and photos with the online form.
If you see a plume of smoke on a hillside, call *5555 from your cell phone or 1-800-663-5555.
A map of the region in the Kamloops Fire Centre still under a campfire ban.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire Management
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014