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Back to school bush bashes a bad idea: Penticton RCMP

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September 07, 2021 - 1:09 PM

The new school year began today across B.C. and with it comes some high school traditions such as large bush parties but students in one Okanagan city are being urged to reconsider.

In Penticton, they have what they call a Sunrise Party at the beginning of the year and typically involves a large bonfire. But Penticton RCMP Const. James Grandy says he’s hoping parents will help keep them home or at least more safe this year.

“With this year being particularly dry, and posing an extreme fire risk, we’re hoping to educate students who may want to partake in these kinds of events, to be aware of the dangers,” he said in a release. “Parents and guardians should be aware these are unsanctioned events. Students could face large fines should they disregard these risks.”

Const. Grandy said typically, students from several high schools find an area in the backcountry, usually near Carmi. While the fire appears to be a central component, these areas also don’t have cell phone coverage. The combination could make for trouble.

This year was one of the three worst fire seasons on record with more than 868,000 hectares burned and more than half of that in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

Just this past weekend, a new fire was started in the area.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Firefighters in mop up stages on wildfire near Penticton

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