June 10, 2014 - 6:42 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Starting Sunday the annual open fire prohibition will encompass all of the Kamloops Fire Centre as Salmon Arm and Clearwater fire zones are also shut down.
The open burn ban is to help prevent human-caused wildfires as we head into a season when lightning ignited fires pick up.
“We will likely see more lightning starts,” B.C. Wildfire Fire Information Officer Melissa Klassen says, adding a warm, dry June could result in a ‘higher than average’ fire season.
The rest of the region has been under prohibition since mid-May and anyone burning a category two or three fire in the Salmon Arm or Clearwater fire zones must have it extinguished by noon on June 15. The ban remains in place until Sept. 15 or Oct. 1, depending on elevation, for these zones and until Oct. 15 for the Kamloops, Vernon, Penticton, Merritt and Lillooet zones.
This ban applies to burning of waste, slash, stubble or grass as well as the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels. It does not apply to campfires that are, at most, a half-metre high by half-metre wide or most cooking stoves.
If found with an illegal fire you can be ticketed $345 or fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail if convicted in court. If a wildfire is caused by the contravention, penalties can go up to $10,000 plus all costs associated with firefighting.
Prohibitions within local governments can vary.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on your cellphone or call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014