Smoking, motorized vehicles banned in Penticton natural areas due to fire risk

  • Posted on: 1 August 2017
  • By: Michael Brydon
01 Aug 2017

Owing in part to a fire-danger rating not seen since 2003, the City of Penticton has banned smoking and the use of motorized vehicles in all natural areas.

“I want to remind visitors and residents that woodland areas, including trails, hiking trails, the KVR Trail, are completely closed to motorized vehicles and smoking,” said Penticton fire Chief Larry Watkinson, who ordered the ban Tuesday under a local bylaw.

“I don’t know how much more clear we can make it: the city of Penticton and surrounding areas are in a disastrous condition in the event of fire.”

In co-operation with other local governments, the ban also covers the West Bench and Penticton Indian Reserve.

According to Watkinson, the fire-danger rating, which takes into account factors such as the dryness of fuel on the forest floor, is higher now than it was in September 2003, when the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire destroyed hundreds of homes.


It is August 1, dry as heck, and I hear a couple of motorbikes on PIB land between Westwood Properties and the West Bench.  Only a couple of hundred homes at stake.