Update — 8:48 a.m.:
City of Merritt officials have confirmed to the Herald that all small confined fire permits within and around the city are suspended for the duration of the Category 1 provincial campfire ban.
The BC Wildfire Service and Ministry of Forests have announced that a campfire ban will soon be in place alongside two active open burning bans for the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Nicola Valley.
According to a joint release, effective at 12:00 pm on Thursday (June 8) Category 1 fires, including campfires, will be prohibited throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. Category 2 and 3 open burning bans have been in place since mid May. Officials say the prohibitions were enacted to help prevent human-caused wildfires, and protect public safety. All three bans will remain in place until the same time on Oct. 13, 2023, or until the order is rescinded.
“Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition 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,” notes the release. “If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.”
In addition to the open burning and campfire bans, the ministry is also banning fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets, burn barrels, and air curtain burners. Most of the province’s fire centres now have Category 1 burning bans in effect.
For more information on the sizes and types of fires that are now banned, visit the BCWS website.