Open-fire restrictions on the way

NEWS/ WILDFIRES — It’s time to start being careful with fire.

Effective at noon on May 15, the size of open fires will be restricted in most of the Kamloops Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

Restrictions on open fires aim at avoiding ones like this. (Wildfire Management Branch file photo)

Restrictions on open fires aim at avoiding ones like this.
(Wildfire Management Branch file photo)

The prohibition applies to all of the Kamloops Fire Centre except the Clearwater Fire Zone and the Salmon Arm Fire Zone. Anyone conducting category 2 or 3 fires outside of those two zones must extinguish any such fires by noon on May 15. Backyard burning is a category 2 fire.

The prohibition will remain in effect until Oct. 15 or until further notice.

Since April 1, Kamloops Fire Centre crews have responded to 12 wildfire incidents covering more than 129 hectares.

“Many of the wildfires resulted from poorly planned open burning,” said fire information officer Kayla Pepper. Above-average temperatures and an early drying trend in the Kamloops Fire Centre have increased wildfire risks, so residents are being urged to use extra caution with any open burning.

Prohibited activities include:

• The burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled) 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 or burning barrels of any size or description.

The prohibition doesn’t 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.

It covers all B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it doesn’t apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local civic authorities regarding any current prohibitions.

The Clearwater Fire Zone and the Salmon Arm Fire Zone will also become subject to the prohibition on June 15, when all open burning will be prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre.

The Kamloops Fire Centre stretches from the northern border of Wells Gray Park to the U.S. border in the south, and from the Bridge River Glacier west of Gold Bridge to the Monashee Mountains east of Lumby.

About Mel Rothenburger (8416 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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