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Hot and dry raises fire rating

The fire danger rating within the Kamloops fire region continues to climb as quickly as the mercury.

With no end in sight to temperatures in the low to mid 30s over the next seven days, the fire danger rating has risen to moderate to high throughout the region.

Fire Information Officer, Dave Steeves, says much of the region remains moderate with pockets of high around Merritt, Vernon, Princeton and Osoyoos.

"Things are progressing," says Steeves from the Wildfire Management Branch in Kamloops.

"And, with the forecast weather we have for the next couple of days we are thinking we are going to sneak into high pretty much all around before too much longer. These ratings are fluid...they're changing all the time."

The latest fire danger ratings are available from the ministry website.

Steeves says things such as fuel loads combined with current weather patterns, relative humidity levels etc. go into determining the fire danger rating.

"It's a way for us to rate how severe the conditions will be and how we will predict safe ways in order to put our people in to attack a situation if one does come up."

With no appreciable precipitation in the forecast and the long weekend coming up Steeves says there is always reason for concern.

"With the long weekend coming up that usually means there are going to be a lot more folks in the woods...and more folks in the woods increases our chances for human caused fires," says Steeves.

"That's really where the issue lies. Human caused fires are fires that can be prevented so it's important people are taking those precautions to prevent fires where they can so we can re-allocate the resources we have to fight fires that can't be prevented like lightning strikes."

Steeves stresses people in the back country need to pay strict attention to the no burning provision and to be extremely careful with smoking materials and matches.

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