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The Columbia Valley Rural Fire and Rescue Service has been fielding numerous calls of late regarding backyard fires.
“Most of these calls come late at night and are creating a drain on our volunteers as well as creating a burden on our Fire Dispatch Centre in Kelowna already dealing with an unprecedented season. Sadly, many of these calls could be avoided with neighborly communication prior to the dispatch of Fire Departments and RCMP,” explains Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service Deputy Chief Drew Sinclair. “While some of the calls end up being the permitted portable propane fires, many are not and we need people to start taking the fire conditions seriously.”
Currently, all outdoor burning – including backyard fires and the use of fireworks - is prohibited in BC. While portable propane campfires ARE still allowed at this time, they must be CSA and ULC approved and the flame height must not exceed 15cm. For those not obeying the restrictions, the fine under the Wildfire Act is $1,150 plus a fine of up to $100,000 and the cost of all firefighting operations if the fire escapes.
The Province of BC has declared a Provincial State of Emergency in response to the wildfire situation as hundreds of active fires burn across the Province.
“If you are thinking of having a fire, the message is very clear: don’t do it,” adds Sinclair.
For the latest information on provincial fire bans and restrictions, visit www.bcwildfire.ca.