Williams Lake Fire Dept. Assistant Chief Joan Flaspohler (left) and the city’s brand new Fire Chief Erick Peterson at the scene of a smoldering campfire off Bond Lake Road Thursday morning. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Smoldering campfire in Williams Lake sparks concerns

Neighbours discover partiers failed to fully extinguish campfire

An abandoned campfire on the Bond Lake Road discovered Thursday morning, just days prior to the one-year anniversary of the Cariboo wildfires of 2017, was a stark reminder that campfires need to be watched at all times and extinguished, said Williams Lake’s new Fire Chief Erick Peterson.

“You have to make sure a fire is out before you leave,” Peterson said as he and Assistant Chief Joan Flaspohler investigated the fire.

A local resident told the Tribune there was a party at the site Wednesday night and some of the neighbours had gone in Thursday to clean up the area when they discovered the fire wasn’t out.

Peterson said a fire extinguisher wouldn’t be enough so they decided the fire department would return with Engine 11 to put it out completely.

Flaspohler said the fire was within the Cariboo Regional District boundary where campfires are still permitted, although she reminded the public all fires cannot be bigger than .5 metres in height and width.

“In city boundaries we have a bylaw and there are different requirements for campfires that must be complied with,” she added.

City bylaw


No person shall light, ignite, start or maintain, or allow or cause to be lighted, ignited, started or maintained, any open air fire, except;

a) outdoor cooking fires provided the fire is contained in a device or fixture designed for such purposes and the fire is only burning briquettes;

b) outdoor fire pits approved by the Fire Chief for use in licensed campgrounds for tourist parks;

c) factory made fire pits listed for use in a backyard shall be permitted (use of these units shall follow the requirements in schedule “F”);

d) fires deemed necessary for municipal burning; and

e) fires lit for Fire Department training exercises




a) the fire must be contained in a factory manufactured fire pit

b) the fire pit must be located at least 20 feet from any property lines and buildings and 10 feet from all grass, shrubbery, wood or other combustible material;

c) fire pit must be located on a level non combustible surface;

d) a garden hose or immediate source of water must be at the fire site at all times the fire is lit;

e) the fire must not be ignited or allowed to burn in strong winds;

f) the fire must be attended to and supervised by an adult at all times the fire is lit;

g) the fire must not emit heavy smoke or noxious odors;

h) the fire must be fully extinguished when not used;

i) the fire must not be used to burn residential waste, including yard material, garden waste or debris;

j) the fire must not be used to burn construction waste or demolition debris;

k) only clean dry wood with a maximum thickness of 3 inches is permitted to be burned;


l) the fire must be extinguished by 11 p.m.

Peterson arrived on Tuesday, July 3 from Delta where he worked with the fire department there for 15 years.

Read more: 2017 wildfires attract new fire chief for Williams Lake

He said this week he had met all the paid-on-call firefighters and the career staff.

“It’s going really well and they are all helping me transition into my new position,” he said. “Everyone has been awesome.”

As July gets underway, conditions are not as dry as they were at this time last year when on July 7 several wildfires were ignited when a lightning storm passed through the region.

Between May 1 and July 4 the Williams Lake area received more than double the amount of rain compared to last year.

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s historical data records show 17.2 millimetres of precipitation fell in May, 61.8 mm in June and in the first two days of July 10.2 mm.

In 2017, the Williams Lake area received 31.6 mm in May, nine mm in June and zero precipitation in July.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Tour de Cariboo road ride and fundraiser going out in style on 25th anniversary

This year’s Tour de Cariboo fundraiser will celebrate 25 years of memories.

ZONE 8: Gabby Knox is a 2nd-generation BC Summer Games competitor

Both parents competed in softball, but Knox of Williams Lake is making waves in the pool

Tl’etinqox community strengthed by 2017 wildfires, says chief

Residents denied evacuation order to help themselves

West Fraser continues burned timber salvage in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Two cutting permits will allow the company to harvest 227,000 cubic metres of burnt timber

2017 fire babies pose for photo one year later

23 babies and their moms gathered for a photo shoot at the Williams Lake Fire Department

Update: Police probe Toronto shooting that killed 2, injured 12; suspected gunman dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Sunken duck boat to be raised after deadly Missouri accident

17 people died over the weekend in a deadly boat incident

Man extradited to Canada in B.C. killing, following arrest in South Korea

28-year-old Jui-Kai Weng was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder

Canada beats Triple Crown for Canada Cup softball title

National team’s championship is first at B.C. tournament since 1996

Record high in Japan as heat wave grips the region

The temperature in a city north of Tokyo reached 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday, the highest ever recorded in Japan.

Feds looking at ways to tackle wave of gun violence in Toronto: Minister

Toronto mayor John Tory spoke to the press following a mass casualty event in Toronto.

Inquest set in death of RCMP’s spokesperson for Robert Dziekanski case

Former Mountie Pierre Lemaitre died of self-inflicted injuries in Abbotsford in 2013

Soaring temperatures, high winds could worsen fires in B.C.’s southern Interior

Environment Canada’s forecast for the next week in the southern Interior does not inspire confidence, with temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting over 40 kilometres per hour.

Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

Trump tweeted late on Sunday that hostile threats from Iran could bring dire consequences.

Most Read