Penticton keeps campfire ban in place, for now - InfoNews

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Penticton keeps campfire ban in place, for now

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September 12, 2018 - 3:59 PM

PENTICTON - Penticton residents will have to wait a little longer to enjoy a backyard fire.

Last week’s lifting of the provincial ban didn’t apply to Penticton, which has a burning ban of its own still in place.

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson says the lifting of the provincial ban puts municipalities like Penticton under pressure to do the same. Unfortunately, he says local conditions remain too dry to contemplate lifting the ban in the city just yet.

“Yesterday, we were still at a fire danger level of four. Today we’re at a three, which is still moderate,” he says.

Watkinson is hoping conditions will continue to moderate. If so, he says the ban could be lifted in time for the weekend.

“I have concerns related to people seeing a bit of rain, then thinking it’s all good to go, when it’s not. A little bit of wind and a day like today and it dries out to where it was. It needs continuous rain for a long duration to properly saturate,” he says.

Environment Canada is calling for showers right through the weekend, with below normal temperatures for Penticton.

The open fire ban applies to campfires and backyard fires, with fines of up to $1 million and up to three years in prison for those starting a wildfire due to recklessness or arson.

In the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, Kaleden Fire Chief Denis Gaudry says six fire departments operated under the authority of the regional district board are following the province’s lead in lifting the open burning ban.

A reduced fire danger in the Similkameen has also resulted in the complete rescindment of all evacuation alerts in Electoral Areas "G" and "B" issued by the regional disrict.


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