It may feel like we’re nearing the end of fire season, but we’re actually in the peak of it with no end in sight for the near future.
“We need widespread and sustained precipitation,” said Michaela Swan, information officer for the Kamloops Fire Centre.
“The little showers that wet the pavement in Kamloops just aren’t enough to wet the fuels that are available to burn in the forest. And right now there’s not in the forecast for that even looking at the (next) seven days.”
Swan and her colleagues are busy reminding camping enthusiasts that a ban on campfires is still active.
And in the wake of complacency leading to widespread ticketing of offenders, conservation and natural resource officers are stepping up enforcement this weekend.
Those ignoring the ban could face fines of $345.
Fireworks are also prohibited during the ban. The penalty for lighting fireworks is $230.
“We have wider areas of where our patrols are going to look at,” said Swan. “This is the longest campfire ban that we’ve had in recent years . . . so for people, the complacency is sort of there.”
The region’s firefighters are currently battling about 413 blazes, which breaks the 10-year average record for this time of year. Fortunately, the fires are all relatively small and holding at less than one hectare in size.
That could be attributed to the calm winds the region has experienced lately as well as the precipitation accompanying the lightning storms that came through.
Increased humidity is also helping to moisten fuels leading to lower fire behaviour than seen earlier in the month.
“Mother Nature is working for us,” said Swan.
To report a forest fire or prohibited campfire dial *5555 on a cellphone or phone 1-800-663-5555.