Ahead of the Labour Day long weekend, the BC Wildfire Service is asking the public to exercise caution and even urging holiday travellers to stay home.
More than 100 campsites and 41 trails will remain closed in the Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast Fire Centres and conservation patrols will be stepped up in all areas.
While there is no full ban in place, weather remains an ongoing concern headed into the weekend and officials are strongly encouraging users to stay out of the backcountry. Those currently staying in campsite areas of these three fire centres are being advised to leave.
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Anyone caught with a campfire will face a stiff penalty – fines begin at $1,150 and could rise higher depending on whether or not it goes to court and anyone caught operating an off-road vehicle in areas they shouldn’t will be hit with a $767 fine.
In the past week conservation officers handed out 37 tickets for campfires, including some that had been left unattended.
Weather to remain hot and dry
At last count there were 150 fires burning throughout British Columbia with 3,800 personel working to bring them under control and 180 aircraft helping to support activities on the ground.
With Environment Canada forecasting a ridge of high pressure building over the weekend, there is a potential for instability such as lightening and wind, but little or no rain in the southern half of the province. Conditions are expected to be unusually hot and dry over the next five days with possible record-breaking temperatures along the way, which is why officials remain concerned.