The BC Wildfire Service and Ministry of Forests have announced that the recently announced campfire ban will be lifted noon today (June 16) for the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Nicola Valley.
According to a joint release, effective at 12:00 pm on Friday (June 16) Category 1 fires, including campfires, will once again be permitted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre as temperatures cool down. Category 2 and 3 open burning bans have been in place since mid May, and will remain in place until October or until rescinded.
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 All three bans will remain in place until the same time on Oct. 13, 2023, or until the order is rescinded.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 bans, the ministry is also banning fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets, burn barrels, and air curtain burners.
Merritt Fire Rescue Department officials confirmed to the Herald that small confined fire permits are now once again valid after being suspended with last week’s announcement of the campfire ban. Although campfires are once again allowed, the MFRD is reminding Merritt residents to only light fires with a permit, and practice FireSmart principles, as conditions remain dry.
For more information on the sizes and types of fires that are now banned, visit the BCWS website.