BC Parks expecting busy long weekend
People enjoying provincial parks and campgrounds over the Victoria Day long weekend (May 17-20) are encouraged to be safe, have fun and allow everyone to benefit from everything BC Parks have to offer.
Those looking to enjoy a specific park or campground are reminded to plan ahead as the May long weekend is the unofficial start of the camping season.
Campsites and reservations are in high demand. Through Discover Camping, the province’s camping reservation system, visitors can reserve individual campsites up to three months in advance. First-come, first-served campsites are also still offered in many campgrounds for visitors without reservations.
Visitors are encouraged to check availability in BC Parks by visiting its website.
There are 19 provincial parks in the East Kootenay: Bugaboo Provincial Park (west of Brisco); James Chabot Provincial Park (Invermere); Columbia Lake Provincial Park (beside Fairmont Hot Springs); Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park (east of Kootenay National Park); Height of the Rockies Provincial Park, adjacent to Elk Lakes Provincial Park (north of Elkford); Whiteswan Provincial Park (southeast of Canal Flats); Windermere Lake Provincial Park (south of Invermere); Premier Lake Provincial Park and Top of the World Provincial Park (near Skookumchuck); St. Mary’s Alpine Provincial Park (north of Kimberley); Wasa Lake Provincial Park; Moyie Lake Provincial Park; Ryan Provincial Park (near Yahk) and Yahk Provincial Park; Norbury Lake Provincial Park; Kikomun Creek Provincial Park (south of Jaffray); Mt. Fernie Provincial Park; and Akimina-Kishinena Provincial Park (in the southeastern corner of B.C.)
To ensure everyone can have a good time this weekend, park rangers and conservation officers will have an increased presence to help ensure public safety and help protect the sensitive natural environment and ecosystems in the parks.
Campers and park visitors are reminded to follow rules around campfires, which include having a one-metre fireguard around campfires where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed, keeping fires to 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter. Never leave a campfire unattended.
It is also important to have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish a campfire and always ensure ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area.
BC Parks’ smoking policy is also in effect year-round, which permits smoking and vaping of tobacco, cannabis or other substances only in designated front-country or group campsites by registered campers and their guests.
This policy is designed to allow people and families to enjoy their stay in a park or campground by minimizing the exposure of second-hand smoke. Additionally, this policy reduces the risk of wildfires and protects wildlife and the environment from hazardous effects of cigarette butts and other litter associated with smoking.
Members of the public can report wildfires or unattended campfires by calling *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.
Lead image: Bugaboo Provincial Park west of Brisco. e-KNOW file photos