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Kamloops to limit size of open fires to prevent human-caused forest fires

Area of Open Fire Prohibition, Order ID KFC 2013-001 effective, May 15, 2013
Image Credit: SOURCE/Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Wildfire Management Notice

The Kamloops Fire Centre is restricting the size of open fires to prevent new human-caused fires and to protect the public.

There is a 1400 Ha fire currently blazing at Sputnam Creek near Ashcroft, and firefighters have responded to 42 other human-caused fires throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre since April 1, 2013. Many have resulted from poorly planned open burning.

The rest of the press release from the Kamloops Fire Centre is as follows:

As of noon, Wednesday, May 15, the size of open fires will be restricted in all areas of the Kamloops Fire Centre zones except Clearwater and Salmon Arm. These areas will not be restricted until June 15, when all open fires will be prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre zones.

The Centre states anyone conducting a category 2 or 3 fire outside the two zones must extinguish their fires by noon, May 15. This prohibition will remain in effect until October 15, or until further notice.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

*The burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled)

*The burning of more than one open fire of any size at the same time

*The burning of recreational and ceremonial fires that exceed the size specified for campfires

*Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area

*The use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size of description

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-meter high by a half-metre wide or smaller and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

This prohibition covers all B.C. Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local civic authorities regarding any current prohibitions.

The Kamloops Fire Centre stretches from the northern border of Wells Gray Park near Blue River to the U.S. border in the south, and from the Bridge River Glacier west of Gold Bridge to the Monashee Mountains east of Lumby.

For information about open burning and for more tips on making responsible burning decisions, please download one of the guides to open burning.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subjected to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, dial *5555 on a cellphone or call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free.

The the latest on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website.

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