Effective at noon on Friday, September 2, campfires will be permitted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre (KFC). The current prohibition against any Category 2 and Category 3 open fires remains in effect throughout the KFC, which includes Merritt and the Nicola Valley, but contained campfires under 0.5 metres will once again be permitted.

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is reminding British Columbians that while campfires may be permitted again, ensuring their proper and safe use should be priority. Those who start a campfire should always be sure to have a shovel and at least 8 litres of water on hand to extinguish the flames.

“Always ensure that a fire is cool to the touch before you leave the campsite for any length of time or go to bed for the night. Hot embers can reignite, especially in warm weather, and never leave your campfire unattended,” said the wildfire service in a statement.

The following equipment and activities remain prohibited throughout Kamloops Fire Centre:

– Category 2 open fire as defined in the Wildfire Regulation;
– Category 3 open fire as defined in the Wildfire Regulation;
– Fireworks;
– Sky Lanterns;
– Burn Barrels or Burn Cages of any size or description, except when used for a campfire as defined by the Wildfire Regulation; and,
– Binary Exploding Targets.

The City of Merritt announced via social media on Thursday that all small confined fire permits were being reinstated, after being temporarily suspended at the beginning of this season’s campfire ban. Anyone found in violation of a fire prohibition may be fined up to $1,150. Those who cause wildfires by violating the prohibition may be fined anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million and be sentenced to one year in prison.

To report a wildfire, or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For more information on the ban, and for specific information on banned items, call 1-888 3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.