Campers are now free to enjoy the glow of a fire now that the Southeast Fire Centre has lifted its campfire ban.
Fanny Bernard, forest information officer with the centre, says the weather forecast was instrumental in the decision to lift the ban, which went into effect on Aug. 5.
“The forecast was calling for significant precipitation and cooler weather, so that is what made us rescind the campfire ban,” she said. “It wasn’t just the (rain) that was happening on Friday, but the forecasted precipitation for the rest of the week.”
A campfire ban could still be put in place if the right conditions are present, and the Southeast Fire Centre is monitoring the conditions on daily basis. Fuel moisture and forecasted weather are some of the criteria forest information officers look at when deciding on a whether to change the status of a burning ban.
Although campers can now roast hot dogs and marshmallows on their campfires, all other open burning is still banned in the fire centre.
“All that is permitted right now are campfires within regulations.
“Any flash burning or burning any waste is prohibited. You still cannot light grass fires of any size over any area, no fireworks, no sky lanterns and no burning barrels,” explained Bernard.
Campfire regulations require the fire to be smaller than a half-metre by half-metre, having at least eight litres of water nearby and a hand tool, like a shovel, to make sure the fire is completely extinguished.
One wildfire of note in the area, the Slocan Park fire, is now fully contained after burning for 14 days and Bernard says there are crews working to keep it that way. The fire was discovered on Aug. 3.
“There are 34 firefighters and one helicopter working on it,” she said. “The crews are now just continuing to patrol and are mopping up hot spots. We had over 35 mm of rain this weekend and that helped.”
To date, the Southeast Fire Centre has had 266 fires, with 57 of them human cause. Bernard says that is a really low number.
“That is a very low proportion (of the fires),” she said. “It is really good and we are very happy to see that (number so low).”