Back Country Restriction to be Lifted
Prince George, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Service will be lifting the back country restriction for the Cariboo and Kamloops Fire Centres today .
There will still be area restrictions around the specific fires, and detailed maps of those restrictions will be posted on the BC Wildfire Service website.
The lifting of the backcountry restriction means once again, people can access forest service roads and lakes within the two areas. “Putting the back country closure in place was a pretty extraordinary measure” says BC Wildfire Service Chief Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek. It was the first time in 14 years that such a restriction had been put in place. “We believe the threat has lessened to an extent where we’re happy to rein back in something that unusual, that disruptive” says Skrepnek.
He says the BC Wildfire Service doesn’t want people to get complacent because of the lifting of the back country ban, “There is still hazard out there, but it’s to the point where we’re confident, we can rein this in from a provincial perspective.”
Skrepnek confirms that during the course of the closure of the back country, a number of violation tickets were issued to those caught in areas that were off limits, There have also been violation tickets issued to those caught using off road vehicles in areas where those vehicles have, and remain, prohibited.
Although access to the back country is being permitted, there will be a buffer zone of 5 to 10 kms around each of the fires, where people will not be allowed access.
Skrepnek says there is more unstable weather on the way “It is looking like its going to be wetter than weather shifts we have had in the past, but that wind, in terms of existing fires we’ve got, could be damaging.”