Open burning banned

Fire restrictions are being implemented throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Okanagan.

Effective noon May 15, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the region to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

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

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.

From April 1 to May 11, BC Wildfire Service crews responded to 36 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre, many of which were the result of poorly planned open burning.

A poster explaining the different categories of open burning and a map of the affected areas is available online.

The 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 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.

Always check the venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If venting conditions are rated poor or fair, open burning is restricted.

Anyone found in contravention of an open 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 the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

Call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on your cellphone to report any fire or smoke.

For the latest information on wildfire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the B.C. Wildfire Service website, Twitter or Facebook.

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