Fire bans begin today
Summer must be near.
On Tuesday, May 15, fire prohibitions come into effect for much of the Kamloops Fire Centre — a huge geographical area stretching from the U.S. border to Wells Gray Park.
The ban takes effect at noon on Tuesday, May 15, and restricts open fires to a maximum size of a half-metre wide by a half-metre tall.
Prohibited will be the burning of waste larger than half a metre by half a metre, having two fires burning on any one property at a given time, stubble or grass fires of any size and the use of fireworks or burning barrels.
Small campfires and cooking stoves are not covered by the ban, but prohibitions on them often come into effect in the late summer.
The restrictions cover all B.C. parks, Crown and private land, except within municipal boundaries of a community which has forest-fire prevention bylaws.
Kamloops is one such community, but burning within city limits can only be done with a permit from Kamloops Fire Rescue.
The only parts of the Kamloops Fire Centre exempt from the prohibitions are the Clearwater and Salmon Arm fire zones.
Anyone found in contravention of the prohibitions could be handed a $345 ticket or prosecuted in court — with a conviction bringing a fine of as much as $100,000 and one year in jail.
As of today, there are five fires 10 hectares or larger in the Kamloops Fire Centre area, including the 140-hectare Pavilion Lake blaze near Lillooet that is well under control. That fire was human-caused.
To report any fire activity, call 911 or, for wildfires outside of city limits, 1-800-663-5555.