Harrison Lake campers defy fire ban, set off fireworks

WATCH: Some campers near Harrison Lake defied the open fire ban with a camp fire, then lit fireworks. Witnesses say the response by park wardens was surprising. Jeremy Hunka reports.

Ryan Loberg says he has never seen anything like it.

He was enjoying the scenery around Harrison Lake when he saw campers around a fire, violating the campfire ban that is in place across much of southern B.C.

“We were overlooking the water and we could see down the beach a little ways that there was an orange flicker,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. conservation officers threatened by campers violating fire ban

Loberg reported the fire ban violation to the B.C. Wildfire Service hotline. He reported it again the next day to a fire warden on patrol.

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He says nobody enforced the ban. Later on he saw not only a campfire but also fireworks.

“When I reported it the first time, I really expected a response out of it,” said Loberg. “I expected somebody to be out there that evening and address the matter at hand. That never happened.”

READ MORE: People still flouting campfire ban in Okanagan

The Coastal Fire Centre says the complainants did the right thing, but also says fire wardens don’t have the authority to issue tickets and conservation officers can’t always respond quickly.

“Sometimes people just aren’t in the vicinity at the time, so sometimes it does take a while to respond to those kinds of things,” said Marg Drysdale of the Coastal Fire Centre. “But we are looking into it.”

-With files from Jeremy Hunka

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