Man fined for campfire near Lake Country claimed he didn't know about ban | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Man fined for campfire near Lake Country claimed he didn't know about ban

This fire was left unattended on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017 at a recreational camping site near Lake Country. It lead to an $1150 fine.
Image Credit: TWITTER/B.C. Conservation Service
August 30, 2017 - 3:23 PM

KAMLOOPS - B.C. Conservation Service officers handed out a $1150 ticket this week to a man staying at the Island Lake Recreational Campsite near Lake Country.

Seasonal officer Marc Plamondon says he was doing routine checks of recreational sites with another officer when they came across a campfire burning with visible flames. When they went to investigate they found everyone at the campsite was asleep.

"We walked up to the site expecting to talk to the people sitting around it but there was nobody," he says. "There was a vehicle and a tent so we thought they went to bed. We shook the tent and announced ourselves as conservation officers and somebody woke up and came out."

Plamondon then asked if the man was aware of the campfire ban. The man replied that he had no idea.

"So I told him that there definitely is a fire ban going on and you can't have this fire going," Plamondon says. "I kind of thought it was hard to believe that somebody would still be unaware of the fire ban after it was going on for so long and covered by the media. And there was a fire ban sign posted as soon as you came into the rec site."

Though this is only the second ticket Plamondon has had to hand out this summer it was not the first time he heard a plea of ignorance as the previous offender he caught gave the same excuse. Even if that is true, he says conservation officers have been told to give no leeway when it comes to the fire ban.

"Ignorance of the law is not an excuse and it doesn't really matter if you knew or not," he say. "Seeing how dry the area is you should probably put two and two together and see that maybe we shouldn't have a fire tonight or maybe we shouldn't leave the fire burning after we go to bed."

Plamondon says the man did not have any water nearby and offered to pour some soda on the flames to douse them. The conservation officers had some water in their truck so they put the fire out themselves.

For more on tickets handed out for illegal campfires, go here.

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