Camper Ryan Loberg quickly took photos of a group of campers who blatantly ignored the fire ban last weekend on Harrison Lake.

Campers face frustration at fire ban enforcement

Violators of fire ban light multiple campfires and shoot off fireworks even after talk from fire warden

A group of friends who camped along Harrison Lake last weekend saw first-hand the frustration of dealing with fire ban offenders.

Ryan Loberg spent the weekend on the east side of Harrison Lake last weekend with a few friends. They found a good spot around the 30 km mark and set up camp. But before long, they noticed orange flickering down the beach and went to investigate.

“We confirmed that its’ definitely a campfire and a bunch of people are around it,” Loberg recalls.

Considering the offending group far outnumbered them, they decided against confronting the other campers and instead tried to find someone on the road with a satellite phone so they could report the illegal fire. They ended up driving to a worksite about 16 kilometres up the road, where they were able to call the fire in to the wildfire service hotline.

“We headed back to camp, kept an eye on it and made sure nothing got out of hand,” says Loberg. He figured someone would come out that night. No one showed up that night from the wildfire service to deal with the complaint.

The next day, they were out exploring and came across a fire warden. They flagged him down and told him about the campers, gave him directions and found out later from another group that he had showed up and told the illegal campfire users about the ban.

“We get back to the site and start to make dinner and, sure enough, we see them have a fire again,” Loberg explains.

To make matters worse, the group started shooting fireworks “all over the water, over the forest – kind of wherever they wanted.”

At this point, the friends didn’t know what else they could do. The next morning, they went to the scene in their truck and quickly took photos of the offenders and could see smoke coming off the fire area again. At least three fires plus fireworks and no consequence frustrates Loberg.

“Somebody has to step up and do something,” says Loberg. “Warnings just aren’t enough.”

Loberg posted his experience on a Facebook page dedicated to 4×4 users and got a big response from other members who have had similar experiences.

Marg Drysdale, provincial fire information officer, says there have been “numerous” issues with people in the Fraser Valley continuing to have campfires in spite of the well-advertised fire ban. She says the challenge they face is that their fire wardens can do prevention and education.

“Our fire wardens are out there just to let people know there’s a campfire prohibition,” says Drysdale.

They do not have the ability to ticket offenders. She urges people to call the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line instead, at 1-877-952-7277 as they can ticket offenders.

 

Just Posted

Union files human rights complaint over Chilliwack school trustee’s LGBTQ comments

Board and trustee Barry Neufeld facing $50,000 tribunal charge over alleged ‘unsafe work environment’

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Water upgrade work starts in Harrison

Participation compulsory for impacted properties

Men accused in Michael Bonin’s murder knew him: IHIT

20-year-old’s body found on a rural service road North of Hope in April

Millions stolen from Seabird Island band a reminder of ‘historical trauma’

Sentencing hearing for man who stole $2.3 million from First Nation hears tragic impact of the theft

Find Your Fit tour comes to Agassiz

Gives students hands-on experience with career-planning tools

Sunwing vacation passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

5 to start your day

‘Young, innocent’ teen dies in Vancouver shootout, 152 Street overpass repairs start and more

Congestion points or distance: How Metro Vancouver could pay for its roads

Mobility pricing commission identifies two options in report

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

Most Read