Fire restrictions for Kamloops Fire Centre to be put in place ahead of May long weekend

Image Credit: SUBMITTED

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Just in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, fire restrictions are set to be imposed for the Kamloops Fire Centre.

According to a news release from the province, starting at noon tomorrow, May 19, the size of open fires will be restricted in some parts of the centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public. You can still have a campfire at B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands. They are not covered by these restrictions.

The province says anyone conducting category two or category three open burns in the areas must extinguish those fires by tomorrow's deadline. The prohibition will be in effect until Oct. 15.

The Category 2 and Category 3 open burns will be prohibited in the Kamloops Fire Zone, North Prohibition area at elevations below 1,200 metres, the Kamloops Fire Zone South Prohibition area at all elevations, Vernon Fire Zone below 1,200 metres, Merritt Fire Zone at all elevations and Lillooet Fire Zone at all elevations.

The line separating the Kamloops Fire Zone North Prohibition area and South Prohibition area runs along Highway 24 from the western boundary of the Kamloops Fire Zone to Little Fort, then south along Highway 5 to Agate Bay Road, east to the north shore of Skwaam Bay on Adams Lake, north along the east side of Adams Lake to Bug Camp Creek, and along Bug Camp Creek to the Kamloops Fire Zone's eastern boundary.

The Category 2 and Category 3 prohibited burning activities include the burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time, stubble or grass fires, use of fireworks or burning barrels and use of binary exploding targets.

The ban doesn't include campfires smaller than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide, and doesn't apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briguettes. It covers all B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands in the areas but doesn't apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire protection bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.

Residents are asked to check with local government before lighting fires to check if any other burning restrictions or bylaws are in effect.

Anyone found disobeying the ban can be issued a ticket for $1,150 or, if convicted in court, could be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the actions lead to or contribute to a wildfire, the person can be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

If you see flames or smoke, call 1-800-663-5555 or dial *5555 on a cell phone. For the latest information on wildfire activity, conditions and prohibitions, go here.

A map of the fire zones within the Kamloops Fire Centre. Some areas will be under fire restrictions beginning May 19, 2017.
A map of the fire zones within the Kamloops Fire Centre. Some areas will be under fire restrictions beginning May 19, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/BC Wildfire Service

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