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Fire bylaw order restricts off-road motorized vehicle use, smoking within city controlled areas

The City of Penticton is collaborating with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and the Penticton Indian Band in issuing a fire bylaw prohibiting motorized vehicle use and smoking in the city's natural areas, including West Bench and the Penticton Indian Band as of today, Aug. 1, 2017.
August 01, 2017 - 12:49 PM

PENTICTON - Local governments have agreed to a ban of off-road motorized vehicle use and smoking in natural areas of the city and locations the city's fire department responds to.

A press release issued by the City of Penticton today, Aug. 1, states the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, the City of Penticton and the Penticton Indian Band have issued a fire bylaw order closing all natural areas within the city limits, West Bench and the Penticton Indian Band lands to smoking and off-road vehicle use.

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson says the ban was necessary, given the present state of extremely dry conditions present in the South Okanagan.

“We feel this is necessary to take the next step in wildfire prevention,” he said.

Watkinson said he hopes the regional district directors will consider a similar ban, especially for Naramata and the Carmi portion of Area "D."

"I think the general public looks at it as common sense. The fire danger rating is beyond what it was in September, 2003. It's almost an explosive situation out there. It's really bad," he says.

The ban closes natural areas like wild land bush trails and along recreation routes like the Kettle Valley Rail trail to smoking and use of quads, dirt bikes, and 4x4 trucks.

“We really appreciate the support of the community in adhering to the fire bylaw order and reducing the risk of fire in our region,” Watkinson says.


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