Be FireSmart aware and on the alert for backcountry fires

News Article

As we head into a hot long weekend, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) FireSmart team is reminding residents and visitors about the importance of taking extra fire safety precautions at home, and while exploring the backcountry. 

“With the heat in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys building, the RDOS would like to remind everyone to be cautious when camping and enjoying outdoor activities in the backcountry,” says Kerry Riess, RDOS FireSmart Coordinator. “Please pay special attention to extinguishing your campfire, ensuring it is completely out. Also, report suspected wildfires to 1-800 663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone.” 

The fire danger rating throughout the region is now high and expected to reach extreme throughout some areas in the coming days. Forest fuels are drying up, and the fire risk is serious. 

Tips while visiting the backcountry

  • Pay attention to campfire restrictions in your area and follow local fire bans. Be aware that each municipality will have its own restrictions. Also, during a campfire ban, smoking is restricted in all public areas.
  • While camping in the backcountry, be sure any fires (if allowed in the area) are fully extinguished with water. Pour water until the hissing sound stops, and use your shovel to stir and break up the campfire.
  • Discard cigarette butts appropriately and safely.
  • If you’re riding an ATV or other motorized vehicle, hiking, or camping in the backcountry, leave nothing behind. If you see any signs of fire, report it immediately. 

How to report a wildfire
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures, and air quality advisories, please visit

Safety tips for home

  • Be safe while using a BBQ. Keep it away from overhanging branches, and never leave it unattended. For more tips, visit
  • Use caution when using a lawnmower or weed trimmer, which have the potential to spark a fire. After using these types of power tools, it’s advised to water the area down after to prevent a fire from occurring. 

For further information and FireSmart tips, please visit 


Sign up for emergency alerts and routine notifications
The RDOS has partnered with Voyent Alert! to provide routine and emergency notifications throughout the region. Sign up now to receive email, text or phone notifications, or download the Voyent Alert! app through the App Store or Google Play. Once you’ve registered, you are automatically signed up for all routine and emergency notifications. Be sure to update your profile with your preferred notification settings. Emergency notices are automatically included. 


Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen 


Erick Thompson

Andrea Rendall


RDOS Toll Free

RDOS Communications              

RDOS Communications