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RDNO lifts campfire ban for electoral areas B and C, but Vernon, Enderby keep ban in place

Vernon’s fire chief says the fire-danger rating within the city remains high, so the campfire ban will remain in place. File photo

Plan on lighting a campfire this Labour Day long weekend? If you’re in the North Okanagan or Shuswap, check to see if it’s OK before doing so.

On Wednesday, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) announced that it was lifting the campfire ban for the Kamloops Fire Centre and that campfires would be permitted beginning Friday at noon.

Read more: Campfire ban in Southern Interior to be lifted in time for Labour Day weekend

In the wake of that, conflicting news came out on Thursday, with some areas given the green light to light campfires, such as Salmon Arm, while others said the ban was still in place.

For example, the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) announced that, in alignment with the BCWS, it was lifting the campfire ban within electoral areas B (Swan Lake / Commonage) and C (BX / SilverStar).

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“While danger ratings have fallen and wildfire risks are low, the RDNO encourages everyone to exercise caution with their campfires,” said the regional district.

The RDNO added that the following campfire tips should be considered:

  • Only burn dry, seasoned wood.
  • Never leave your fire unattended.
  • Be mindful of smoke’s impact on your neighbours.
  • Keep water or a hand tool nearby when a campfire is lit.
  • Ensure the fire is entirely smothered before walking away.
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While residents or visitors in electoral areas B and C can light campfires this weekend, that’s not the case in Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby and Enderby, where campfire bans will continue.

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“The fire danger rating within the City of Vernon remains high,” said Vernon fire Chief David Lind. “For this reason, the campfire ban will remain in place in Vernon until conditions improve, to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.”

Read more: Campfire ban still in effect, says Central Okanagan regional district

“While the Kamloops Fire Centre has lifted its ban on campfires, the City of Enderby and the Shuswap River Fire Protection District have evaluated local conditions and decided to keep a local campfire ban in place until noon on September 9, 2022,” Enderby and District fire Chief Cliff Vetter said on Thursday.

“Our area continues to experience hot and dry conditions. We still have a high fire danger rating that is a going concern. By Sept. 9, we are expecting a change in weather will reduce the risks and be a more suitable time to lift the campfire ban.

“This measure will help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety until the conditions improve.”

Vernon’s and Enderby’s campfire bans include fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels and burn cages.

And on Friday, the Splatsin First Nation announced that it will keep its campfire ban in place until noon on Sept. 9.

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“Our area continues to experience hot and dry conditions and, as such, high fire danger is still of significant concern,” said Splatsin Kukpi7 Doug Thomas.

“Reports show that cooler weather conditions are expected by September 9, which will reduce the risks of fire spreading. As such, we feel that this is a more suitable time to lift the campfire ban.”

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