September 01, 2015 - 8:30 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Some fire-shocked B.C. residents are questioning the decision by the Ministry of Forests to lift the campfire ban that has been in place since early July.
The ministry announced Monday afternoon the ban would be lifted on Crown lands and campsites in the South East and Kamloops fire centres and many communities and regional districts immediately followed suit.
However, some fire-weary residents are calling for the ban to be reinstated through the Labour Day long weekend. One Cranbrook resident launched an online petition to rescind the ban and over 500 people from all over the Southern Interior signed it.
But on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon at Bear Creek provincial campground in the Central Okanagan, it was hard to find support for a continued fire ban amongst campers, especially as temperatures are below 20 C.
“The fires were going pretty good last night,” said a campground attendant, who asked not to be named. “There was only one group who said no fire, they were smoked out.”
The attendant said she has her own reservations about lifting the campfire ban but added that nothing had gone wrong and people seemed to be more attentive to their campfires.
One camper, Larry Maxton of Edmonton, said he’d heard all about the wildfires in B.C. but it wasn’t going to stop him from enjoying a campfire.
“I figure the experts know what they are doing and I will be careful,” he said.
B.C. Wildfire responded to the criticisms and complaints on its Facebook page, saying the decision was science-based and not made lightly. B.C. Wildfire did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015