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Reminder issued to be fire smart as heat in Okanagan continues

A firefighter douses hotspots on a wildfire. The Kelowna Fire Department says the recent warm weather has created dry conditions across the region. Firesmart B.C.

With sunshine and hot temperatures dominating the Okanagan weather forecast for the next two weeks, the Kelowna Fire Department has a simple piece of advice: please be fire smart.

KFD has issued a reminder that open burning is banned within city limits. That includes campfires and outdoor wood-burning appliances, like fire pits.

“This includes private property,” noted the fire department.

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Further, smoking, campfires and briquette barbecues are also not allowed in city or Central Okanagan regional district parks. However, propane barbecues are allowed.

For private property, propane and natural-gas campfire appliances and fire tables are permitted.

The fire department said anyone found violating the city’s fire bylaw could face a $345 fine.

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It also said other potential hazards that can spark fires include carelessly discarded cigarettes, dragging chains, hot machinery and light rays reflecting off glass and mirrors.

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“Despite the rain earlier in the season, the recent warm weather has created dry conditions across the region,” said Kyle Jacobson, fire and life safety educator with the Kelowna Fire Department.

“A spark from a campfire can easily jump and ignite surrounding kindling so we are asking everyone to please follow these rules and help keep our communities safe from wildfires this season.”

For more information and fire prevention tips, including how to FireSmart homes and businesses, visit the City of Kelowna’s website or FireSmartBC. For emergency preparedness tips, visit the Central Okanagan Regional District website.

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