A ban on open fires in the Okanagan starts Wednesday at noon.
The provincial government has announced that stubble or grass fires, burning barrels, fireworks, tiki torches and any open fire larger than one metre high by two metres wide will be strictly prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre.
This rule, in effect until Oct. 15, is to prevent human-caused wildfires in the region due to dry, hazard conditions.
The prohibition on all public and private land does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
Before lighting any fire, people should check with local government authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in effect.
Anyone found in contravention of the ban may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The Kamloops Fire Centre thanks the public for its continued help in preventing wildfires. Report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation by calling 1 800 663-5555toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca