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All of B.C. under campfire ban amid province-wide heat wave

Kamloops and Southeast fire centres already announced campfire bans
A bonfire burns at Tarfu Lake Campground on June 20, 2024.

B.C. Wildfire Service says a campfire ban will be in effect provincewide at noon on Friday (July 12).

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, the wildfire service said the ban comes with the increased risk of new wildfire starts from current and forecast weather conditions. The Southeast and Kamloops fire centres had already announced campfire bans – also to go into effect on Friday at noon – earlier in the week. 

B.C. Wildfire Service says the ban is to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

In the 2023 wildfire season, 25 per cent of the 2,245 wildfires were human caused. In 2022, B.C. had one of the lowest-human caused wildfire seasons since 1950.

In a B.C. Wildfire Service video from 2023, senior wildfire prevention officer Alan Berry said a lot of things are taken into consideration ahead of implementing a campfire

"While we're always evaluating the pros and cons of putting on a campfire prohibition, there comes a time where the need to prevent wildfires is too important and the conditions are too dry."

Berry said B.C. Wildfire Service looks at where the organization is at in the season to help out with wildfires. He said there is also a threshold level for the rating of the total amount of fuels that could catch fire.

"When those stations are above a certain threshold level and we see that the forecast is trending to be hotter and drier for a prolonged period, we implement a prohibition."

The province-wide bans comes after days of record-breaking temperatures across B.C.

On Monday, heat records were tied in two communities, while records were broken in 25 others. Lytton, Lillooet and Cache Creek all recorded temperatures above 40 C. 

There were 46 heat alerts issued across the province by noon on Monday, following a heat wave that first hit Friday evening. 

In the coastal regions, the heat warning is expected to end by Tuesday night, but elsewhere in the province, it's expected to continue through to the end of the week.

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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