The public is reminded that, despite recent rainfall, Category 2 and Category 3 open burning prohibitions remain in place throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes Chase, and the North and South Shuswap.
Decisions on when and where to implement open burning prohibitions depend on local wildfire hazards, forecasted weather conditions and the current level of fire activity.
Current weather forecasts for the Kamloops Fire Centre are calling for thundershowers and the possibility of lightning.
During this period, it is vital that BC Wildfire Service resources are ready to deal with any wildfires sparked by lightning and not tied up responding to preventable, human-caused fires.
Since April 1, 2016, BC Wildfire Service crews have responded to 67 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre that have covered 213 hectares.
Many of these wildfires were the result of poorly planned open burning.
So far this month, there have been over 20 instances of non-compliant fire use throughout the fire centre, with many of them occurring in the Salmon Arm and Penticton fire zones.
The current Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will remain in effect until Oct. 15, 2016, or until further notice. A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://ow.ly/fZHG301C6Dp
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://ow.ly/jdO5301kS32
Specifically, prohibited activities include:
• The burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled) at a size larger than one-half metre by one-half metre.
• The burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time.
• Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area.
• The use of fireworks, sky lanterns, burning barrels or binary exploding targets of any size or description.
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre 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 protection bylaws in place that meet the criteria of the Wildfire Regulation (Section 2.2) and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, people should check with local authorities to see if any other burning bylaws or restrictions are in effect.
Anyone found in contravention of a burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If a contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on wildfire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the B.C. Wildfire Service website: www.bcwildfire.ca