August 08, 2014 - 4:41 PM
RISK OF FIRE PROMPTS CLOSURE OF MT. BOUCHERIE TO THE PUBLIC
A high forest fire hazard rating in the area of Mount Boucherie has prompted the city to close the park to the public until further notice.
The District of West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater says hot, dry conditions have made this one of the busiest forest fire seasons on record and he urges residents to work together to reduce the risk of wildfires. He asks that the current campfire and open burning bans be followed and that cigarettes and matches be stored safely and not thrown out car windows.
Dilworth Mountain in Kelowna has also been closed to the public due to an elevated risk of fire and both parks will be reopened once the risk has diminished.
“We must all do our part to protect our community from wildfire,” Findlater says.
To report a fire, call 911 to reach the local fire department or *5555 on most cellular networks to contact the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch.
DILWORTH MOUNTAIN PARK CLOSED IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE OF EXTREME FIRE RISK
The steady hot dry weather forecast has created an extreme fire hazard at Dilworth Mountain prompting the city to close the park to the public.
Dilworth Mountain Park has natural areas surrounding neighbourhoods along Summit Road and Dilworth Drive. The access area off of Chilcotin Crescent was closed today but city staff will monitor the risk and reopen the park when it's safe.
“The Okanagan has been experiencing steady hot weather the past several weeks and our parks, especially the natural ones, are becoming extremely dry,” Urban Forestry Supervisor Blair Stewart said in a press release. “Currently, the risk of grass fires is high and we need to reduce the potential for any type of ignition at this time.”
Campfires and barbecues are not allowed in regional parks with the exception of barbecues on beaches. Smoking is also prohibited in all natural areas.
Park users and park neighbours are asked to be vigilant. Anyone noticing smoke or fire in any park should immediately call *5555, the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch or 911 to speak to the fire department.
FIRE RISK CLOSES KNOX MOUNTAIN DRIVE
Knox Mountain Drive will be closed to motorists due to an extremely high fire hazard.
The upper portion of the road, past the first lookout, closed July 14 and now the entire road will close after 9 p.m. to reduce the risk of human-caused fire.
“The entire park will remain open to the public, but we are limiting access by vehicle as a preventative safety measure. Park users are asked to be cautious while in the park,” said Blair Stewart, the City of Kelowna’s Urban Forestry Supervisor.
The Knox Mountain Drive road closure will remain in effect until City staff has assessed that it is safe to reopen the road.
Natural parks with no irrigation are susceptible to fire because dry grasses and underbrush can be easily ignited. Dilworth Mountain Park closed earlier today because, like Knox Mountain Park, they border on residential neighbourhoods.
Residents are reminded that a provincial campfire ban is in effect, with the exception of barbecues and cooking stoves on beaches that use gas, propane or briquettes with flames no higher than 15 centimetres. Smoking is also prohibited in all natural areas.
Park users and park neighbours are asked to be vigilant. Anyone noticing smoke or fire in any park should immediately call *5-5-5-5, the BC Wildfire Management Branch or 9-1-1 to speak to the fire department.
For information on City parks and beaches, see kelowna.ca/parks.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014