Caution urged in high fire hazard areas

Due to extreme dry conditions, park and trail users in Penticton are urged to use extreme caution so as to avoid starting an interface fire.

Signage is being placed in key locations in the community as a reminder to the public to exercise caution when venturing into parks and wooded grasslands on foot or when cycling.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, people are responsible for about half of all wildfires in the province. Here are some tips on reducing the risk and keeping your community safe:

  • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) produce an enormous amount of heat and can ignite brush from their exhaust systems. Be conscious of where you start or idle the ATV, and consider avoiding dry grassland areas.
  • Smokers are asked to use extreme caution when extinguishing their smoking material – using fully contained vessels to capture all embers and smouldering materials while hiking/biking, or interior ashtrays while driving a vehicle. This includes cigarettes and matches.
  • Campers must adhere to all campfire fire bans. All open burning – including campfires and fireworks – has been prohibited in the City of Penticton since early July. This open burning ban is currently in effect to protect public safety and to limit the risk of person-caused wildfires. Campfires and open fires of any kind are not allowed in the City of Penticton. Fire pits along Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake have been covered and closed to public use until further notice.
  • Fire bans include fireworks. Please speak to your children about fireworks, fire crackers and playing with matches.
  • Lawn & farm equipment should have properly working spark arrestors to prevent sparks from exiting through the exhaust pipes.
  • If you have an electric fence, consider de-energizing the current.
  • Businesses or contractors doing any hot works (welding, grinding, etc.) outside near grassy areas should ensure they have a working fire extinguisher and designated lookout person with them.

 

Have a plan - know what to do before a wildfire incident or any emergency:

  • Have at least a 3 day supply of water and food, that does not require refrigeration and cooking
  • Keep a flashlight, batteries on hand
  • Make sure you have a home first-aid kit
  • Have an escape plan so that all members of the family know how to get out of the house quickly and safely
  • Have a contingency plan so family members can contact each other in case they are separated during an evacuation
  • Make sure all family members are familiar with STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch fire

If you see smoke or fire approaching, report it immediately by dialing 911.

For information about general fire safety, call 250-490-2300.