Student bush party fireless

Penticton grade 12 students reportedly abided by the campfire ban during their annual “Sunrise Party” on Beaver Dell Road Tuesday night.

Every year, Penticton students entering grade 12 celebrate their first day of their final year of high school by throwing a party. The party typically includes a large bonfire, liquor, cigarettes and for some, drugs. With wildfires raging across the province and Okanagan Valley, that thought had some residents of Upper Carmi stressed.

"The kids probably did have a good time last night, it was just a matter of them not starting fires and we are not aware of any fires that were started by any of the parties," said Cameron Baughen, information officer for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameem.

With the extreme fire hazard, Penticton RCMP were monitoring the area closely.

"There may have been other things that they were called out for, but they (the Emergency Operations Centre) said that there was no fires, and that the kids understood that was a major no no," Baughen said.

A parent of a local grade 12 student said some students took a positive approach to planning the party.

"A vast majority of them discouraged smoking all together at the site reminding their fellow graduates of the fines and risk of not putting it out safely," Christy Shular said in an email. "There was a large number of kids that went up early to ensure there was no burning material, such as pallets and when they saw them, threw them over the edge to have them out of sight."

"They arranged for safe rides, enjoyed some music by a DJ and a majority of them dispersed around midnight,” she said.

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