June 23, 2015 - 8:00 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Without a significant amount of rainfall Tuesday night, the Southern Interior could see a fire danger rating of ‘extreme’ by the start of the weekend. And that could mean no campfires on the weekend before Canada Day.
Kelsey Winter of B.C. Wildfire says the fire danger rating in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which covers the Thompson-Okanagan, is currently at ‘high’ but with temperature forecasts across the regions nearing 40 Celsius this weekend, and no precipitation, the danger of a forest fire is going to get very real.
“The fuel conditions are really dry... so people need to be very careful with their fire use out of doors.”
Winter says the Southern Interior has already seen more than its share of extreme fire danger ratings. By this time in 2014 the danger rating reached extreme only nine times. There have been 106 already this year.
“It’s quite a difference,” she says.
The forecast calls for a chance of showers overnight but Winter says that still might not be enough to keep the danger from reaching the highest level possible. Although campfires are still permitted across the seven zones covered by the Kamloops Fire Centre, that could change later this week.
“On Thursday we will look at whether or not the fire bans should be put in place,” she says. “We will be looking at that on a day-to-day basis.”
With Canada Day falling on a Wednesday this year, Winter wants to remind residents that fireworks are strictly banned for anyone without a permit.
“Our fuel conditions are incredibly dry for this time of year so fireworks are definitely very dangerous right now.”
Members of the public who see smoke should call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from your cell phone. For more information about fire safety visit the B.C. Wildfire Management website.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015