Campfire on Beaver Lake Road, 2020
With a province-wide fire ban and the still hot and dry climate throughout the region, people are still lighting campfires in the bushy areas.
Kane Blake, the founder of the Okanagan Forest Task Force, said he spotted at least three campfires on Saturday night in the Postill Lake and Beaver Lake Road area.
Prior to the fire ban, Blake dealt with several abandoned campfires as well as active fires that burned in the backcountry forest areas all around the Okanagan Valley.
Blake said if he sees people with an active campfire he advises them to put it out and if there is an abandoned one that is still burning, Blake will put it out himself.
“There is no reason to be ignorant right now, during a fire ban you can smell the smoke, we can’t pretend there is no fire ban,” said Blake.
According to Blake, people seem to “sneak” into isolated areas in a wooded area to start a campfire, which presents a higher risk of starting a forest fire.
“During a fire ban, people go to these remote areas because they don’t want to get caught,” Blake said.
“You’re risking everyone’s house in a fire, you could actually be charged with the costs of the fire and if you get caught it’s a fine of $ 1,150,” Blake said.
“A forest fire can start very quickly given the right conditions like right now everything is dry,” said Blake. “All it takes is an embers to blow into the bush to begin with, it’s no different than throwing a cigarette butt into the bush, it takes an embers and a good breeze to take off. ”