No campfire ban despite heatwave
Jul 11, 2012 / 4:09 pm
Despite the hot dry weather we've been experiencing the last week or so, and a long range forecast for much of the same, the forest fire rating in much of the Okanagan remains low to moderate.
That also means a total ban on campfires is not being contemplated, at least not yet.
Fire Information Officer, Kevin Skrepnek says the Ministry of Forests tries to be flexible when it comes to a total ban on campfires.
He says bans are instituted in a zone by zone basis and are only implemented when they are necessary.
"At this point, no it's not (total ban), but that's going to be a week to week thing. We look at weather indices and we look at fire weather indexes such as how dry it is," says Skrepnek.
"There still is the open burning prohibition which restricts campfires to a half metre by a half metre."
Skrepnek says patrols will be out this weekend making sure people are adhering to that prohibition, and also looking for abandoned or unattended campfires.
Generally, Skrepnek says campfire bans would taker effect on a Friday of any given week and publicized the Wednesday prior.
Skrepnek also reminds people that any ban or lack of one put out by the province pertains only to Crown Lands and private land.
Individual cities and regional districts have their own policies.
Most municipalities and regional districts have strict year-round campfire bans within their borders.
Skrepnek says the rain which hit the Okanagan as part of Monday's electrical storm helped to keep the fire danger rating down.
However, pockets around the Shuswap, Merritt and Lytton do have high to extreme ratings and there is a campfire ban in the Whistler area.
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