Shuswap Fire Chiefs said most of those found not in compliance with the province-wide open burning ban were ignorant to the ban. (File Photo)

Shuswap fire departments respond to open burning violations

Fire chiefs say violators often ignorant of current prohibition

Not everyone is getting the message regarding the provincewide ban on open burning.

According to Shuswap fire chiefs most people are in compliance, but there have been some instances of people ignoring the ban.

Salmon Arm Fire Chief Brad Shirley said for each of the past several weekends, the Salmon Arm department has responded to one or two complaints about open burning. Shirley said the fire department had the people extinguish their fires. He reminded the public that anyone having a fire larger than a campfire could be subject to fines; if their fire were to cause a wildfire they could be on the hook for expenses related to extinguishing it.

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In Sicamous, Fire Chief Brett Ogino said both bylaw officers and the fire department have been dealing with ongoing prohibited burns. He said prohibited burns have been largely due to ignorance of the ban, and people burning yard waste as they are accustomed to doing this time of year.

Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) fire services coordinator Sean Coubrough said CSRD fire departments have also responded to burns that exceeded the restricted size. He said conversation with fire chiefs showed the main cause of the illegal burns has been property owners being unaware of the restrictions; he said the property owners were cooperative for the most part.

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