Coastal burning ban coming; B.C. Interior probably not far behind | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Coastal burning ban coming; B.C. Interior probably not far behind

Burning bans are returning to British Columbia as a change in the weather is bringing hot, dry conditions to many parts of the province.
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July 22, 2020 - 8:41 AM

As B.C. Wildfire Service prepares to ban most open burning activities along the coast, one has to wonder how long it will be before a burning ban comes back into effect in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

As of noon Friday, July 24, most open burning activities will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, B.C. Wildfire Service announced yesterday, July 21.

A burning ban was in place in the Kamloops Fire Centre earlier this year but was rescinded on June 19 following a wetter than normal spring.

Conditions changing rapidly, however, as Kamloops and the Okanagan have experienced mostly dry, sunny and hot conditions for more than a week, with a forecast for more of the same. The hot weather dries out the forests and grasslands providing fuel for wildfires.

Kamloops Fire Centre fire information officer Madison Smith says they continue to asses the need for a burning ban on Category 2 open fire burning.

The fire danger rating today, July 22, is low to moderate in the fire centre with high danger ratings in the Lillooet, Lytton, Osoyoos, Kelowna and Vernon areas.

There are two fires currently burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre, a 28-hectare blaze burning out of control west of Merritt, and a two-hectare wildfire in the Similkameen north of Tulameen.

There have been 49 wildfires so for this year and they have burnt 155 ha. Compare that to 104 fires during the same periods last year which had burned 995 ha.

The prohibition includes Category 2 and 3 open burning but does not apply to campfires that are a half metre high by half metre wide, or smaller.

A Category 2 open fire includes:

  • open burning of any material smaller than two metres high and three metres wide
  • open burning of material concurrently in two pies each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width
  • burning of stubble or grass fires over an area smaller than 0.2 ha.

A Category 3 open fire includes:

  • any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide
  • burning of three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres by three metres wide.
  • burning of one or more windrows
  • burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 ha.

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