Open burning, campfires again allowed in region

Cooler weather and decreased fire danger ratings have prompted the BC Wildfire Service to end its ban on open burning throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre — which includes Osoyoos and the South Okanagan.

The use of fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels, burn cages, binary exploding targets and tiki torches is no longer prohibited.

The centre earlier this month lifted a similar ban on campfires.

“The BC Wildfire Service takes several factors into account before rescinding open burning prohibitions,” a spokesperson for the Service said. “They include balancing the needs of the public with the need to mitigate the risk of human-caused wildfires. The BC Wildfire Service has sufficient fire response resources in place in case any new wildfires start.

Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, so people should always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size. They should use caution and be aware of local conditions that might impact their ability to burn safely and control their open fires.

Although the band is lifted, anyone lighting a larger Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717.

A Category 3 fire is a fire that burns material more than two metres high or three metres wide, or stubble or grass over 2,000 square metres, or more than two piles of any size.

As well, anyone who lights an open fire must comply with B.C.’s air quality control legislation.

The BC Wildfire Service urges people to take the following precautions with any allowed outdoor burning:

  • Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and stop it escaping;
  • Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly and wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires;
  • Create a fire guard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material right down to the soil;
  • Never leave a fire unattended;
  • Make sure that your fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

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