Hot Times in BC

Over the past month, Kamloops residents have had a first hand look at the fear of raging fires with the sudden emergence of blazes in the areas of East Shuswap road near Sun Rivers and Batchelor Hills. There were some anxious moments for homeowners and especially firefighting personnel battling the blazes as quick determined action was demanded. The fires brought to light how quickly devastation could erupt and gave people a front row seat of the tremendous efforts needed to fight them, similar to situations with the Strawberry Hill and Louis Creek fires in years past.
The Spences Bridge fire this week also caused great alarm on how quickly fires erupt, raising anxiety levels after fires raged out of control in the Kelowna and Peachland areas where the hills burned spectacularly.
The BC Wildfire Service has now issued a campfire ban throughout the Southeast Centre and the Kamloops Fire Centre, effective Thursday, July 26. As many as 7 large fires are being dealt with in the Kamloops Fire Centre as a result of lightning storms that moved through the Okanagan last week. Hot and dry conditions are expected to continue. The fire danger ratings in the Kamloops Fire Centre are now generally “moderate” or “high”, but these
ratings will likely increase this week.
Prohibited activities also include the use of:
• fireworks (including firecrackers), sky lanterns, burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description, all torches, binary exploding targets.
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be fined $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. A person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.
For the Outdoor Recreational Discarded cigarette butts, campfires, hot exhaust pipes coming into contact with dry grass and vegetation, power tools (such as chainsaws), Tiki torches and even discarded glass can all ignite a wildfire.
Drones & UAVs
The operation of any aircraft not associated with fire suppression activities (including drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)) near a wildfire is illegal. This includes boating on lakes being used to acquire water in firefighting activities.