Fire danger ratings reach extreme


THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Open fires were already set to be restricted in many parts of the Kamloops fire centre beginning May 15 but with unseasonably warm and dry weather well under way, the entire fire centre will now be put under restrictions beginning this weekend.

The Clearwater and Salmon Arm fire zones normally only face prohibitions beginning in June but because of fire danger ratings already reaching as high as extreme in some parts of those regions, they too will be put under prohibition beginning this Friday.

In a release, B.C. Wildfire Information Officer Kelsey Winter notes the current and forecasted hot and dry weather has led to a range of fire danger ratings from moderate to high across the Kamloops Fire Centre, with some pockets already rated as extreme.

The Shuswap Fire Department noted even though the grass is green, it is dry and afternoon winds are drying out much of the vegetation in the area.

In the last six weeks, Kamloops Fire Centre crews have responded to 26 wildfire incidents, all human-caused.

North of us, a 3,500-hectare fire is spreading quickly southwest of Prince George and has already forced the evacuation of about 80 people.

Prohibited fires include burning of any waste, slash or other material larger than one half metre by one half metre, stubble or grass fires of any size and the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels.

Campfires will still be allowed but must follow all regulations, which means keeping them to less than half a metre high by half a metre wide and have water or a hand shovel ready to help control it.

Local governments may have further restrictions in place.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 from your cell or 1-800-663-5555.

Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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