A man camping in the north Okanagan was fined $1,150 after he left a campfire burning.
Conservation officials came across the fire at the Island Lake Recreation Site on Monday night.
“We got there and there was no one sitting around the fire,” said seasonal officer Marc Plamondon.
When he shook the only tent there, a man came out and admitted it was his fire, but that he wasn’t aware of the campfire ban.
— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) August 29, 2017
“I’m not entirely sure I believed him,” Plamondon said. “There’s been so much coverage in the media about the fire ban.”
The man said before going to bed, he had put the fire out enough that it would go out fairly quickly.
“We didn’t see much of anything for a big bucket of water or anything,” said Plamandon. “Again, we’re not sure if he was telling the truth.”
Even when campfires are allowed, Plamandon said people are strongly encouraged to fully douse the flames before going to bed or leaving the area, just in case they flare up and risk catching anything else.
He said he is frustrated with how many fires he and his colleagues have seen in the area since the ban began. Most of B.C., except for the fog zone on parts of western Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii, remains under a ban in the worst wildfire season on record.
“Almost every officer here has found at least one fire since the fire ban started,” said Plamandon. “And not only us, but a lot of people are very keen and they report.”
To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour, call B.C. Wildfire at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone.