Officials to lift fire ban in Salmon Arm Fire Zone
With a forecast of significant rain over the weekend, Kamloops Fire Centre officials decided to lift a ban on open burning on Monday, Oct. 15.
Officials had hoped to lift the ban on Oct. 1, but most of the Salmon Arm zone remained at high or extreme risk for wildfires.
“From altitude 1,000 metres and below to valley bottoms, we’re in extreme or high danger class,” said local fire protection officer Larry Osachoff.
Campfires were the only fires permitted in the zone and fire officials were – and still are, calling for extreme caution.
Burning debris piles and industrial burning remain strictly prohibited at this time, and the prohibition will not be lifted until Monday – if the area experiences significant rainfall.
Fire season was late in starting due to heavy spring and early summer rains, and there has been almost no precipitation since late August – just 4.6 mm since Sept. 11.
Additional fire crews and air tankers were kept on hand to deal with the extended fire season.
Intentionally set fires were expected to cause smoke in Silver Creek earlier this week.
The B.C. Wildfire Management Branch was set to burn small plots of land above Salmon Valley Road, intended as an outdoor classroom for a fire investigation course planned for 25 Korean Forest Service staff members.
Students will examine the burned plots, looking for the source of the burns.
The branch is recognized as a world leader in wildfire management and has provided training to many other countries.
This year’s fire season was relatively easy on provincial resources with 412 fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre – 32 occurring in the Salmon Arm Zone, 20 that were caused by lightning and 12 believed to have been caused by human activity of some kind.