Cost of being fire starter steep: Vernon RCMP

FILE. Vernon Fire Department. Megan Turcato / Global News

A grass fire sparked late Saturday night in Kalamalka Provincial Park may have been human-caused and it’s prompting a reminder of what’s a stake when people aren’t careful.

A grass fire in Kalamalka Park broke out at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the 9800 block of Coldstream Creek Road. RCMP said in a press release the fire was contained and extinguished quickly, though the origin is still under investigation.

“We’ve received information from witnesses who have reported seeing a flare in the vicinity prior to the fire starting,” Const. Chris Terleski, for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, said.

“It is under investigation and we’re certainly looking into the possibility that it may have been human-caused.”

A recent period of hot weather has caused the fire index to jump significantly, police are urging residents to exercise caution and be fire smart because the risks are high and, in turn, penalties for contravening the Wildfire Act can be steep.

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The penalties listed by the RCMP include:

  • Section 3 (1), Drop, release or mishandle burning substance: $575
  • Section 3 (2), Fail to extinguish burning substance: $575
  • Section 5 (1), Light, fuel or use fire against regulations: $1,150
  • Section 5 (2) (a), Fail to extinguish fire: $575
  • Section 10 (3), Light, fuel or use fire against restriction: $1,150
  • Section 10 (4), Fail to comply with fire restriction: $1,150

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to please contact the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP at 250-545-7171 and quote police file 2022-12773.

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