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October 27, 2017 3:51 pm

Back Country Restriction to be Lifted

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 1:38 PM

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.”



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