Off-road vehicles restricted in backcountry
Effective at 1 p.m. today, Friday, Aug. 4, the operation of any off-road vehicle for recreational purposes on Crown land will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre, Cariboo Fire Centre and Kamloops 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.
“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,” stated Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
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The BC Wildfire Service is continually monitoring conditions and this prohibition may be expanded or rescinded as needed.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.
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