As the B.C. Wildfire Service begins lifting campfire bans in certain parts of the province, not all British Columbians are happy about it.
This summer has marked one of the most intense wildfire seasons in B.C.’s history, including the near-entire destruction of Lytton, several properties lost in parts of the Okanagan, hundreds of evacuation orders and alerts, as well as concerns around the fatigue of those on the frontlines.
Effective Friday at noon (Aug. 27), campfire bans will be lifted in the Cariboo region and much of the Kootenays, excluding the Boundary area.
The news of the ban being lifted was met with much opposition in the Cariboo region, with readers of Black Press Media’s publication the Williams Lake Tribune voicing concern it was too soon to lift the ban.
Since April, the Cariboo area has seen 255 wildfires, burning a total of 130,000 hectares. Of those fires, two remain wildfires of note: the Flat Lake and Young Lake blazes, burning at 74,000 hectares and 7,430 hectares, respectively.
Both are now classified as being under control or “being held.”
“There has been consistent precipitation received throughout the Cariboo region and these weather patterns are expected to continue,” fire officials said in a statement.
“As days become shorter, and cooler temperatures are experienced overnight, the burning window for any wildfire continues to shorten, leading to decreased fire behaviour and lower potential rate of spread.”
Campfire bans remain in effect for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, as well as the Thompson-Nicola, Okanagan and Boundary regions.
A campfire is any fire smaller than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high.
Any person lighting any fire is reminded to exercise caution and must have ready access to eight litres of water or a firefighting hand tool. A campfire must be completely extinguished and cool to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time and must have a fire guard around it.