There will be no open burning allowed within the City of Penticton boundaries effective Friday June 4, 2021 and until further notice, by order of the fire chief.
This order is in alignment with the unusually dry spring and expected rapid wildfire development. It does not include Underwriters Laboratories of Canada rated gas appliances.
The city of Penticton thanked all residents for their cooperation during this unprecedented dry and hot spring in a news release June 3.
Last year, a fire ban was issued by the fire chief in April but for much different reasons.
The fire ban was put into effect to prevent exposure to air pollution which increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function, thus making people more prone to complications from COVID-19.
This year, the ban is because of our dry conditions.
Bob Warner, with BC Wildfire, said it’s still early to know what our wildfire season will look like, citing that historically high fire seasons in 2017 and 2018 had virtually no fire activity in May.
He said forest conditions remain very dry through Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Merritt and Salmon Arm.
“The June rains generally dictate the level of wildfire season we will see in July and August. So we keep our fingers crossed we will get some rain in June,” Warner said.
Meteorologist Lisa Erven said that Kelowna received only eight to nine per cent of its monthly average of precipitation in May.
Kelowna saw 3.5 mm of rain through the month of May. Typically, the city receives 40.2 mm of rain in May.
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