A message from the BC Southwest Fire Centre Information Officer:
Effective at noon (Pacific time) on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, the operation of any off-road vehicle for recreational purposes on Crown land will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre, Kamloops Fire Centre and Southeast Fire Centre. In addition, all on-highway vehicles must remain on defined road surfaces.
This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The operation of any off-road vehicles in these regions during the current wildfire situation creates a potential wildfire risk. While jeeps, trucks and other on-highway vehicles are permitted on designated roads, they are not allowed off-road.
The prohibition of off-road vehicles and on-highway vehicles does not apply to private lands or national parks. It also does not apply to emergency responders or to agriculture or commercial/ industrial users who operate vehicles for farming, emergency response or business purposes.
A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://ow.ly/QTm330e9G5n
August is traditionally the most active part of the wildfire season. Given the number of fires currently burning in B.C., the elevated fire danger ratings and the extremely dry conditions in many parts of the province, the BC Wildfire Service is strongly urging British Columbians and visitors to stay out of the backcountry in these regions.
The BC Wildfire Service is continually monitoring conditions and this prohibition may be expanded or rescinded as needed.
In addition, the public is reminded that almost all provincial parks and all recreation sites and trails within the Cariboo Fire Centre are closed due to wildfire risk. The travelling public should visit "safety tips for B.C. travellers" at: www.bcwildfire.ca
Anyone found in contravention of this off-road vehicle prohibition may be issued a violation ticket in the amount of $767. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
To report an off-road violation, call the RAPP line at: 1 877 952-7277.
Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said, "During the current wildfire situation, it's crucial that we do everything we can to prevent human-caused wildfires. Temporarily removing off-road vehicles from the backcountry is another component of our wildfire prevention strategy."
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:
* Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
* Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
Provincial Wildfire Coordination Centre