West Kelowna  

RDCO, Kelowna and Westbank First Nation's have banned BBQ's in parks

Kelowna joins BBQ ban

UPDATE: 3 p.m.

The City of Kelowna has joined other Central Okanagan jurisdictions in banning barbeques and other cooking implements from city parks.

The ban, implemented by the city Friday, is similar to restrictions put in place by the Regional District of Central Okanagan, Westbank First Nation, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country.

"We've had some scares and close calls recently where small fires have been quickly extinguished or narrowly avoided," says parks manager Blair Stewart.

"We need people in Kelowna to be extra vigilant when it comes to fire prevention and, in that spirit, we're taking the step to ban portable, propane-fueled barbeques from our parks."

The barbeque ban is on top of open fires, smoking and using motorized vehicles off road which are always in place.

"We need people to be extra vigilant because conditions are so dry that even the smallest spark can lead to a fire," said Fire Chief Travis Whiting.

"I really can't overstate the level of fire risk Kelowna and the whole Okanagan currently faces."

If hot, dry conditions persist, and residents don't comply with the stiffer regulations, the city says the next step would be to restrict access to parks, or close them altogether.

ORIGINAL: 2:10 p.m.

If you were planning on having a barbecue at an RDCO park or Westbank First Nation Land, you'll have to make another plan.

Bruce Smith spokesperson for the RDCO tells Castanet, "given the extremely dry conditions and high to extreme fire danger, effective immediately all barbeques are prohibited in RDCO regional and community parks."

The ban includes charcoal and briquette barbeques which are never allowed in RDCO parks and now includes, propane-fueled barbeques and the ban will remain in effect until further notice.

A similar ban has also been implemented within Westbank First Nation's (WFN) public parks and beaches. The ban on propane barbecues is in addition to the campfire ban which is in place for the entire province of B.C..

Visitors are also reminded that smoking, vaping, fires or open flames are not allowed any time in regional parks or RDCO community parks.

If you see a fire in any of our parks, immediately call 9-1-1 to report it.

Smith says, "new signs advising of the barbeque prohibition are being installed within the RDCO park system. Violating the Regional Parks or RDCO Community Parks bylaws could result in a fine. However, the greater danger is that violators could be responsible for starting a serious blaze that threatens our parks, amenities and nearby residents and homes."

There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover in 30 regional and 20 RDCO community parks.

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