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Public urged to be more cautious with fire use

The Eagle Bluff wildfire near Oliver (K51244) is currently estimated at 1,500 hectares. —BC Wildfire photo

The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to be more careful with fire use to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires, which divert valuable firefighting resources away from naturally occurring wildfires.

Over the B.C. Day long weekend, fire wardens discovered and extinguished 32 abandoned campfires. Abandoned campfires can start wildfires. These sorts of incidents are preventable. If the ashes from a campfire are not cold to the touch, the campfire has not been fully extinguished.

Careless campfire use can have costly repercussions. Anyone who leaves a campfire unattended for any length of time may be issued a ticket for $1,150.

If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs, as well as the value of the resources damaged or destroyed by the wildfire.

It is crucial for people to remain vigilant with their fire use and other activities in the backcountry during this period of increased fire activity. Currently, the fire danger rating in the Kamloops Fire Centre is generally “moderate” to “high,” with pockets of “extreme” near Lytton, Princeton and parts of the southern Okanagan region.

  • Since Aug. 2, 2019, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to five new fire starts in the Kamloops Fire Centre, only two of which were caused by lightning.
  • Since April 1, 2019, the BC Wildfire Service has responded to 118 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which have burned 1,696 hectares to date. Of those fires, 26 were caused by lightning and 92 are suspected to be human-caused. 

The BC Wildfire Service thanks the public for its continued help in preventing wildfires. Report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca