Open fire ban extended
Sep 28, 2012 / 10:25 am
With almost a quarter of this season's fires in the interior occurring in the last 27 days, it's no surprise that open fire prohibitions in the Kamloops Fire Centre are being extended.
"Since September 1 in the Okanagan, we've had 35 fires, which is 24 percent of our fires so far this year," says Fire Information Officer Michaela Swan.
On top of that, the entire Okanagan remains at a "high" fire danger rating. 70 per cent of the Kamloops Fire District is rated "high" or "extreme."
The ban prohibits the burning of any material piled larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide, the burning of stubble or grass, using fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description. These restrictions remain in effect in the Kamloops, Vernon, Penticton, Merritt and Lillooet fire zones until October 31, or earlier if conditions improve.
The Clearwater and Salmon Arm fire zones face a similar ban although only for fires at elevations below 1,200 metres. The ban runs through October 15.
The ban prohibits the burning of any material piled larger than a half-metre high by a half-metre wide, the burning of stubble or grass, using fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description.
Violaters can be fined $345 and if your actions lead to a bigger fire, you can be fined up to $1 million, spend up to three years in prison and be held accountable for associated firefighting costs.
The danger rating means the Fire Centre will keep more firefighters on duty.
"Compared to last year, we have 50 percent additional staff this year than we did last year. We've extended crews this fall more than we usually would," says Swan.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit their website.
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