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October 27, 2017 3:49 pm

Cariboo Back Country Re-opened, But Check for Restrictions

Friday, August 25, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The Cariboo  back country   has been reopened,  but  there are numerous restricted areas  and  the public is urged to check  to ensure  the  area  they plan to visit is  both accessible and  open  to the public.

The campfire ban, and the off road vehicle ban  remain in place throughout the Cariboo.

There are also about a dozen area  restrictions  around  specific fires.  “Basically, with some of the larger fires,  we’ve done a 5 or ten kilometer buffer around the  fire,  where people are restricted from accessing” says Kevin Skrepnek, Chief  Information Officer for the BC  Wildfire Service,   ” We do have a number of maps on B.C. Wildfire.ca to  enunciate that.”

Some recreation sites and trails will be open as of noon today,  but  click here  for details on which  ones will be accessible.

Skrepnek says even with  some areas open, some closed,   and  new restricted areas,  the decision  to  reopen the back country  was the right call “The closure we had in effect was a very extraordinary move,  and it was having some very far reaching effects.  Lakes and shores are considered Crown lands so people couldn’t  swim or boat on lakes.  Recreationally,  it was cutting off access to areas, and affecting a lot of people who are responsible and affecting  areas where we were seeing less of a hazard.”

He says there are large  parts of the Cariboo that are not impacted by the fires “And we wanted to get a bit of a return to  normalcy  as soon as it was safe and  practical.”

There will  be plenty of  patrols in the  re-opened   areas to  ensure people are not violating the  restricted zones,  the campfire ban or off road vehicle bans  “There is going to be no let up in enforcement patrols” says Skrepnek  “That’s  going to be in the form  of Natural Resource Officers from our Ministry,   the  Conservation Officers Service,  RCMP in  certain cases, and fire wardens as well.  Just  because that back  country  ban has been lifted doesn’t mean there is going to be any let up in terms of  patrolling.”





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