Don't toss those butts

Signs are going up this week in areas of Vernon that could be impacted by an interface fire.

"It'll be a simple message," said Mayor Akbal Mund. "Something like 'please don't throw your butt out of the window.'"

The signs will be targeted at drivers who carelessly flick cigarette butts, forgetting that a single spark could start a grass fire.

"We are in an extreme fire danger rating," said Mund.

Temperatures in the North Okanagan are expected to stay in the mid 30s to the high 20s all week, with sunshine and no rain forecast.

"Just look at what happened at Philpott Road," said Mund, referring to the wildfire that started last Thursday in Joe Rich east of Kelowna, leading to the evacuation of 1,100 people. Many of the evacuees have returned home but the fire was just 20 per cent contained Monday morning, according to officials. 

The cause of the Philpott Road fire remains under investigation but some locals believe it was a carelessly thrown cigarette tossed from a vehicle on Highway 33 that sparked it.

Vernon council has approved $7,000 be spent on the signs that will stay up until the weather cools down.

"We've avoided (a wildfire) so far and anything we can do to keep it that way is worth doing."

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