SOUTHEAST FIRE ZONE — While cool and rainy weather have kept fire danger ratings around the province low for most of the summer, officials at the Southeast Fire Centre are reporting a rise in a different kind of fire hazard: unattended campfires.
So far this year 256 campfire incidents have been reported to the centre, which covers the East and West Kootenay and Boundary areas.
It’s substantially higher than the five-year average for campfire incidents, which is 177 per year.
Leaving a campfire unattended can result in a $345 fine. If the fire causes a wildfire, the campers responsible for it can also be held liable for all suppression costs and damages.
At press time, fire danger ratings in the Columbia Valley were low to moderate. Ratings crept up earlier in the month, however, as a result of hot, windy weather.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1-800-663-5555 or dial *5555 from a cell phone.