Off-road vehicles banned throughout back country of Kamloops fire centre | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Off-road vehicles banned throughout back country of Kamloops fire centre

August 04, 2017 - 11:37 AM

KAMLOOPS – As a provincial state of emergency drags on, all motorized off-road vehicles will now be prohibited on Crown lands throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre.

A media release from B.C. Wildfire says the 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 Okanagan is in the Kamloops fire centre. For a map of what the ban covers, go here.

The prohibition does not apply to private lands or national parks and does not apply to emergency responders or to agriculture or industrial users who operate vehicles for farming, emergency response or business purposes.

As of 9 a.m. today, Aug. 4, there are 122 wildfires burning in B.C. As of last night, 25 evacuation orders affecting more than 7,000 people remain in place.

The state of emergency for the entire province has been extended once again to Aug. 18. It was last extended July 19.

A state of emergency gives agencies like Emergency Management BC, the fire commissioner, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the RCMP the authority to take every action necessary to fight the wildfires and protect residents  and communities.

Anyone found in contravention of the off-road vehicle prohibition could get a $767 ticket, but if the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all costs associated with fighting the fire.

To report an off-road violation, call the RAPP line at 1 877 952-7277.

"During the current wildfire situation, it's crucial that we do everything we can to prevent human-caused wildfires,” Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson says. “Temporarily removing off-road vehicles from the backcountry is another component of our wildfire prevention strategy."

The off-road driving ban also applies to the Cariboo Fire Centre and Southeast Fire Centre.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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