Open fire prohibitions extended in area

Open Fire Prohibition

Effective at 12 noon on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011, the prohibitions that were in place within the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction were extended and expanded to other areas to help prevent human-caused wildfires.

The new prohibitions are in effect until Oct. 15, 2011, or until the order is lifted. The prohibitions in place include the following:

* A campfire prohibition throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre in all zones excluding the Clearwater zone. This includes Barriere, Merritt, Penticton, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, and Lillooet  zones.

* Open burning prohibition of any description including waste, slash or other burning, whether piled or unpiled, of any size across the Kamloops Fire Centre in all fire zones.

* Tiki torches, fireworks and burning barrels are prohibited across the Kamloops Fire Centre.

The ban does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

This ban covers all B.C. Parks, Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by a fire department. Please check with civic authorities for any restrictions before lighting a fire.

To date this season, more than 60 per cent of all wildfires in the  Kamloops Fire Centre have been caused by human activity.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire ban may be issued a ticket for $345, or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all fire fighting and associated costs.

The Kamloops Fire Centre extends from the northern border of Wells Gray Park, north of Blue River to the U.S. border in the south, and from the Bridge River Glacier west of Goldbridge to the Monashee Mountains east of Lumby.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, please call *5555 on your cellphone or toll-free to 1 800 663-5555.

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/BCGovFireInfo and on Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo