Campfire ban issued for Kamloops Fire Centre including Merritt
Campers are going to have to be more creative in the way they cook their food and warm their toes.
Campfires in the Nicola Valley and throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre — with the exception of the Clearwater Fire Zone — are banned as of noon Friday.
"This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety," Micheala Swan, fire information officer, said in a release. "The fire danger rating is currently 'high' throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, with scattered pockets of 'extreme.'"
The rating in Merritt is "high."
Wildfires in the area have been extremely aggressive and require extra fire suppression resources due to the warm and dry air.
Many of the fire have been human caused and use up critical resources for their management, say fire centre representatives.
Swan also noted that open burning is prohibited in the Kamloops Fire Centre. This includes open fires at any size, industrial burning, fires with a burn registration number, tiki torches, fireworks and burning barrels.
Gas- propane- and briquette-burning cooking stoves are exempt from the ban. Portable campfire apparatus with a ULC or CSA rating that uses liquid or gasoline fuel, or briquettes are allowed if the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.
All BC Parks are included in the ban, as well as Crown and private lands. However, the ban doesn't apply to local government boundaries that have forest fire prevention bylaws, and which are serviced by a fire department. Anyone who wants to light a fire in these areas is asked to check with the municipal government.
Those who are found violating the prohibition are subject to a $345 fine. People suspected of arson can be fined up to $1 million, as well as be sentenced to a three-year stay in prison. Payment for firefighting costs may also be required.
The Fire Centre will inform people when the ban is over.