July 23, 2014 - 3:24 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - If you want to have a fire while camping this weekend you may be fighting off the masses heading north to the Clearwater region thanks to the campfire ban being rescinded as of noon Wednesday for that fire zone.
B.C. Wildfire is now allowing campfires in the area thanks to rain reducing the risk in the fire zone.
The higher elevation, cooler temperatures and higher amount of precipitation in the Clearwater zone means it is often one of the last to see a ban put in place and one of the first to see it rescinded, at least in the Kamloops Fire Centre.
“When we do have precipitation track through Clearwater is often where we see the most,” Fire Information Officer Melissa Klassen says.
Even with the heavy rain in the forecast Klassen is unsure if any other zones will see campfire bans rescinded in the near future.
“We’re still seeing human caused fires,” she says, noting the potential increase in those calls if the ban was not in place. “It really will depend on the weather we receive over the next few days.”
Heavy rains are forecast for the entire Interior but the ground is very dry in most areas. Fire danger ratings of moderate to high remain in place and Klassen warns the potential for lightning activity is also high with the weather system that will be moving through.
“It depends on the rainfall we receive. It could cool the ground down and we may not have as much of a risk for lightning starts,” she says. “However the ground is pretty dry, so it will be a wait and see if lightning activity results in any new fires.”
Meanwhile those planning to camp in other parts of the fire centre this weekend will still have to comply with the campfire ban. The prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
All open fires are still banned throughout the entire Kamloops Fire Centre, including the Clearwater zone. This includes industrial burning, fireworks, sky lanterns and burning barrels, as well as open fires larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide.
Bans may vary within the boundaries of local governments.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014