While there has been great compliance with the backyard fire ban in Kimberley, in other areas in the Regional District, that is not so.
The RDEK issued a press release this week from the Columbia Valley Rural Fire and Rescue Service, saying that the service had been fielding a number of calls around back yard fires.
Some of the calls, said Deputy Chief Drew Sinclair, could be avoided by simply talking to a neighbour to make sure they are not burning a compliant portable propane device before calling the Fire Department or RCMP. However, he added that many of the calls are in fact illegal backyard campfires.
“We need people to start taking the fire conditions seriously,” he said.
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.
In Kimberley, Fire Chief Rick Prasad says there has been great compliance to the order.
“I commend our residents for helping to reduce the risk of a fire during the current drought conditions,” he said.