While there have been a few forest fires in the East Kootenay region, so far we have not had any wide scale fires of note; however, it is dry out there and we need to use caution. You only need to look around the Province and into Alberta at the number of forest fires popping up to see how quickly things can change. Please use caution if you are out in the woods, camping, or recreating in our beautiful outdoors.
Currently, campfires are permitted in our region; however on July 2nd , all open fire was banned throughout the entire Southeast Fire Centre (which covers the East Kootenay). Prohibited activities include:
- the use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description
- the burning of any waste, slash or other materials
- stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
Campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquette are still allowed at this time.
The RDEK follows the Provincial Wildfire Management Branch fire prohibitions. To learn more about fire bans and current fires, visit the BC Wildfire Management Branch website at: www.bcwildfire.ca
Another resource you might be interested in bookmarking is http://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/ . It’s a great site for current alerts and bulletins, but also includes some prevention and preparation materials.
Currently, there is a fire threatening an entire community (Hudson’s Hope) in the Okanagan and it serves as a good reminder of the power of mother nature. Please do what you can to prevent fires – from ensuring campfires are fully extinguished and cool to keeping cigarette butts in the car instead of throwing them out the window – small actions make a big difference in tinder dry conditions.