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A Vernon, BC man was hit with a hefty fine Wednesday after firefighters found him lighting a backyard blaze in violation of the current ban.
“The wildfire risk rating in Vernon is currently listed as extreme, which means that all of us must take extra precautions to prevent fires in our community,” said Fire Chief David Lind.
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“This is to keep residents, visitors, first responders and properties safe. There is no excuse for not following the rules of a fire ban. If someone has a fire that violates the ban, a fine will be issued.
“This is a serious safety issue.”
The fire was reported late Thursday in the 6200 block of Okanagan Landing Road.
Upon arrival, firefighters confirmed that a tenant of the property had a large fire in half an oil drum ring, located near combustibles and trees, and was burning treated wood and other prohibited materials.
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They then extinguished the fire, with the help of the department’s off-road truck, and after an investigation, fines were issued.
“The fire was first discovered by one of our bylaw compliance officers,” says Darren Lees, manager of Protective Services.
“We are grateful that no injuries were reported in the incident, but the situation could have escalated much faster if the fire had ignited any of the nearby materials. We are proud of the work our Bylaw Officer with Fire Rescue Services has done to quickly address this issue to keep the community safe.”
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Non-compliance with the City of Vernon burn ban may result in fines of up to $1,000.00 through the City’s municipal ordinances. If the offense causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible can be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
The above prohibitions do not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cookstoves that use gas, propane, or briquettes, or to a portable campfire device that uses briquettes, liquid, or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimeters .
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