July 31, 2014 8:14 pm

Hot, dry long weekend weather poses fire threat

Human caused fires like the Smith Creek Wildfire could be a real threat as the temperature in the Okanagan remains high and the humidity level low for the B.C. Day long weekend.

File/ CP Photo

KELOWNA, B.C. – The temperature has soared back into the mid-30’s in the Okanagan, prompting a warning from the B.C. government about conditions ripe for wildfire over the B.C. Day long weekend.

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“If you’re out in the backcountry or visiting B.C.’s beautiful parks on the long weekend, it’s crucial that you adhere to any fire prohibitions that are in place,” says Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. “Wildfires can ignite quickly in these weather conditions and could damage our forests, homes and communities.”

Friday afternoon, the humidity level in Kelowna was only at 18 per cent.

A campfire ban is in place for the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Okanagan, Similkameen, Nicola, Cariboo and Lillooet areas.

Forest restrictions have been issued in the Prince George and Southeast fire districts.

Quick Facts:

– Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail.
– If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

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

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