Public Education & Fines for Illegal Fires at Cooney Bay Beach
Kamloops BC – Kamloops Fire Rescue (KFR), in partnership with Community Services and the RCMP, want to remind residents that open fires on public beaches are not permitted and are a violation of Fire Prevention Bylaw No. 10-37.
“The risks of having an open flame, on a beach or any property, is very high in our region and climate,” said Ryan Cail, KFR’s Assistant Chief of Operations. “As the temperature rises, so does the fire danger rating, and the brush around a beach area can be very flammable.”
On a sunny weekend, thousands of visitors visit Cooney Bay and the mouth of the Tranquille River, located west of the Kamloops Airport, and beach fires have become a regular occurrence. In any given year, KFR and the BC Wildfire Service attend to a number of unattended fires at Cooney Bay, which depletes resources for other potential emergency events within the city.
This informal recreational site is bordered by Tranquille Farms, and visitors to the site access the area by crossing their private property—a courtesy that has been extended by the property owners. As increased fire activity raises concerns for the historic property, the property owners have the right to revoke this privilege to safeguard their assets.
In the coming days, KFR, Community Services, and the RCMP will be providing education by issuing warning tickets to residents who are found having an illegal fire at Cooney Bay and other public beaches. This is an effort to educate residents on the zero tolerance for open fires and fire safety within city limits.
“Our goal is to educate residents who are not aware of the risks and of the bylaw infraction when having a fire on the beach,” said Cail. “We are responsible for protecting our residents, and we need to ensure our resources are available for emergency events. Brush fires that we attend at Cooney Bay and other areas are typically 100% preventable.”
As of June 1, random patrols will be conducted throughout the year at Cooney Bay and other public beaches. Individuals in violation of the bylaw will receive a minimum $500 fine for the infraction.
Remember—any spark or heat source can cause a wildfire. Be vigilant when in grasslands or interface areas, and be sure to report any suspicious activity. Report a wildfire at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on mobile.
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