July 14, 2014 - 3:56 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - B.C. Wildfire is issuing a campfire ban beginning Wednesday, July 16 following a perfect storm of hot, dry and stormy weather.
The ban, which begins at noon Wednesday, covers the entire fire centre and is in place until further notice. The majority of the fire centre is sitting at a high to extreme fire rating.
Through the first week of July more than half of all wildfires this year have been human-caused and with lightning-caused fires on the rise the ministry uses campfire bans to help minimize the risk of human-caused wildfires.
The centre points to the ‘very aggressive’ behaviour of many of the fires in the region and the need for additional resources at these fires.
Open burning continues to be prohibited throughout the fire centre as well, including industrial burning, fireworks, tiki torches, burning barrels and sky lanterns. Portable cooking stoves using gas, propane or briquettes as well as approved portable campfire units are permitted as long as flame height is kept under 15 centimetres.
B.C. Wildfire covers all parks, crown and private lands except within municipal boundaries. Burning prohibitions may be different from city to city and are not covered by provincial wildfire crews.
Anyone found in violation of an open fire ban, including campfires, may be issued a ticket for up to $345. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness may be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.
To report a violation of the campfire ban within the Kamloops Fire Centre, please call 1 844 NRO-TIPS (1-844-676-8477) or fill out the online reporting form.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or #5555 on your cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to the B.C. Wildfire website, on Twitter or on Facebook.
Last year a campfire ban was in place for most of August.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014