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May to bring open fire bans

The Kamloops Fire Centre has already responded to 38 wildfires that have burned over 400 hectares of land this month.

That’s why starting May 15, the size of open fires will be restricted in order to protect the public and prevent more wildfires.

The prohibition will apply to all areas of the Kamloops Fire Centre except the Clearwater Fire Zone and the Salmon Arm Fire Zone, those jurisdictions will become part of the prohibition on June 15.

Anyone conducting Category 2 or 3 fires outside of those two zones must extinguish their fires by noon on May 15. This prohibition will remain in effect until mid-October.

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

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.

It will cover all BC parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition can be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail.

If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

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