After fire wardens found 38 abandoned campfires over the weekend in the Kamloops Fire Centre, B.C. Wildfire Service asks campers to be more cautious and vigilant.
None of the campfires spread but the risk was serious, said Max Birkner, fire information officer.
“Campfires pose a significant risk in the backcountry since they can easily turn into a wildfire,” he said.
Firefighters had enough of those to respond to over the weekend despite a hazard rating that remains low to moderate in most areas. Only the Clearwater, Salmon Arm and Penticton fire zones are ranked as high.
Birkner said there have been no lightning strikes in the Kamloops area over the last 24 hours. Thunderstorms over the weekend ignited 14 new wildfires in the fire centre, which extends from Wells Gray in the north to the U.S. border and from Lillooet in the west to Salmon Arm in the east. Six other wildfires in the fire centre were believed to have been set by people.
All of the fires in the Kamloops zone were minor, spot fires of less than .009 hectares.
Careless campfire use can have costly repercussions. Anyone who leaves a campfire unattended for any length of time can be fined $1150. If that fire turns into a wildfire, that person may be fined up to $1 million, face three years in prison and be required to pay for all related fire suppression costs.
To date in the fire centre this season, BC Wildfire Service has responded to 130 wildfires, which have burned 252 hectares. Fifty-seven of those fires have been lightning-caused and 71 are suspected to be human-caused.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call *5555 on your cellular phone or call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit bcwildfire.ca