April 28, 2014 2:58 pm

Open burning in Okanagan to be restricted May 15

Fire restrictions will begin May 15th within the Kamloops Fire Zone, including the Okanagan Valley.


KELOWNA, B.C. – Smoke plumes continue to rise from the Okanagan landscape while farmers reduce pruning’s with flames, but that is set to change.

The BC Wildfire Management Branch says the size of open fires will be restricted as of noon, May 15th.

Limiting burning pile materials and sizes are part of an effort to help prevent human-caused wildfires and for public protection, according to the Ministry announcement released Monday morning.

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The restrictions apply to the Kamloops Fire Centre, where crews have responded to 38 wildfire incidents covering more than 438 hectares since April 1st.

Incidents have mostly resulted from poorly planned open burning, according to the Wildfire Management Branch.

The exceptions to the upcoming May 15th restrictions within the Kamloops Fire Centre are the Clearwater and Salmon Arm Fire Zones. Prohibitions in those two zones will begin June 15th.

The Branch information release states, “Specifically, prohibited activities include:

- the burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled) larger than one-half metre by one-half metre
– the burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time
– stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
– the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description

“This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

“This prohibition covers all B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local civic authorities regarding any current prohibitions.”

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

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