June 29, 2015 - 8:00 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – There were 35 fire starts this weekend in the Kamloops Fire Centre alone. Of those, 22 were caused by lightning, but the remaining 13 were believed to be human-caused.
Penticton was the hottest fire zone in the region with 19 of the 35 starts this weekend, but Fire Information Officer Kelsey Winter says the entire region is hotter than usual.
“We are above our number of fires, at 112. Last year we had 94 at this time,” she says.
While there are thunderstorms and lightning in the immediate forecast, Winter calls them less threatening as they are expected with rain. However, the weekend is expected to be dry and she asks residents to use caution.
There is currently no campfire ban in the region, but Winter says any bans are subject to re-evaluation. Fifty per cent of the region’s weather stations must indicate high to extreme fire danger ratings before a ban is placed.
B.C. Wildfire remind residents to take precautions when lighting camp fires, including having a shovel or eight litres of water on hand to extinguish the fire, keep campfires under half a metre high by half a metre wide and maintain a one-metre fire guard around the fire. Also be sure to not burn in windy conditions and make sure the embers are cold to the touch before leaving a fire. Never leave a campfire unattended.
If you want to celebrate Canada Day by setting-off fireworks Winter says don't. Fireworks are prohibited unless you have a special permit and can result in lofty fines, even convictions. Offenders caught setting-off fireworks could face a $345 dollar ticket. Worse yet, an offender could be fined $100,000 if convicted in court of contravention of fire prohibition.
"That person could be on the hook for all the wildfire suppression costs,” Winter says of any fires caused by the use of prohibited fireworks.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015