Warnings and tickets issued in North Okanagan over long weekend as campers ignore closures - InfoNews

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Warnings and tickets issued in North Okanagan over long weekend as campers ignore closures

April 15, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Not everyone got the message that social distancing under a global pandemic would continue over the long weekend. 

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service dealt with 70 violations in the North Okanagan over the long weekend, while Vernon RCMP had to intervene with a person who tried camping on Enderby Cliffs.

Days before the Easter break, the B.C. government ordered all provincial parks and recreation sites closed, however B.C. Conservation Officer Service Sgt. Jeff Hanratty said his officers visited 11 forest recreation sites over three days and issued various tickets.

They issued three orders to vacate for unlawful camping after people set up at recreation sites in the North Okanagan. Officers also issued 11 written warning tickets that don't have a fine and gave 30 other verbal warnings for campers to leave the sites. Four violation tickets were ordered with various fines. One person was fined for having a loaded gun in a vehicle, another for not having insurance.

"Anecdotally we can say that it was a lot quieter than officers would expect," Hanratty said. "If it wasn't for the closures we would have seen a lot more than just on those sites."

In Enderby, the RCMP was called after a man who'd been seen entering the Enderby Cliffs Provincial Park trails didn't return the following day.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP Cpl. Tania Finn confirmed police received a call in the early morning April 10 because the man's vehicle was still in the parking lot the day after he'd been seen leaving for the trails. Finn said police took numerous steps to locate the Enderby man and by 11 a.m. were advised he was okay and was heading back to his vehicle. Finn said Search and Rescue were not called and the man was okay, was familiar with the area and had been prepared with the necessary equipment to spend the night outdoors.

Although the provincial park was closed, Finn said the man was not issued a fine or ticket.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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