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Okanagan communities extending fire ban

By order of fire chiefs; ban now in effect for campfires, open and other burning
The campfire ban in effect has been extended in Armstrong and Spallumcheen until 12 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5. (Black Press Media - File)

Several North Okanagan area are keeping a lid on campfires over the long weekend.

Vernon, Armstrong-Spallumcheen, Cherryville, rural Lumby, rural Enderby and the Central Okanagan Regional District are extending the current fire ban.

The extension goes into effect at 12 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, during which time the BC Wildfire Service is lifting the ban for the entire Kamloops Fire Centre.

“With current dry conditions and high temperatures, we have taken a proactive approach to ensure everyone’s safety over the long weekend,” said Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Chief Ian Cummings. The Armstrong ban is extended until 12 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5

The Regional District of North Okanagan is lifting the ban for Areas B and C (Swan Lake-Commonage and BX-Silver Star) in line with the BC Wildfire Service. The ban will remain in rural Lumby, Cherryville and rural Enderby (Areas D, E and F). The Central Okanagan Regional District is also keeping the ban in place.

All fires will remain prohibited within the City of Vernon until the public is otherwise notified.

“The fire danger rating within the City of Vernon remains high,” said fire chief David Lind. “For this reason, the campfire ban will remain in place in Vernon until conditions improve, to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.”

These prohibitions do not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimeters.

Non-compliance with the fire ban may result in fines up to $1,000 through City of Vernon municipal bylaws. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

In addition to campfires, Category 2, and Category 3 open fires, the following activities are also prohibited:

• the use of fireworks;

• the use of sky lanterns;

• the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description;

• the use of binary exploding targets;

• the use of tiki and similar kinds of torches;

• the use of chimineas; and,

• the use of outdoor stoves or other portable campfire apparatuses not CSA or ULV approved.

READ MORE: Campfire ban lifted in some areas of Kamloops Fire Centre

READ MORE: Okanagan Library CEO starts new chapter: retirement

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