Effective at noon Pacific time today, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, all Crown land within the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District is closed to public access due to the continued extreme fire danger rating, the number of unprecedented aggressive wildfires throughout the region and moderate winds forecasted over the next few days.
The area restriction order means that a person must not remain in or enter the restricted area without the prior written authorization of an official designated for the purposes of the Wildfire Act, unless the person enters the area in the course of:
- travelling to or from his or her residence, that is not under an evacuation order;
- using a highway as defined in the Highway Act;
- travelling as a person acting in an official capacity; and
- travelling for the purpose of supporting wildfire suppression activities;
This Order does not apply to:
- Range Tenure holders, including guide outfitters that hold a range act agreement, specifically for the purpose of addressing animal welfare.
- Commercial activities, including backcountry tourism, to remove assets or periodically monitor and maintain assets as required.
- Angling and river rafting on the Elk River between the town of Sparwood and Elko from boat launches accessed from highways only.
- Activities within the controlled recreation areas of Fernie, Kimberley, Panorama and Fairmont resorts.
- Utility transmission operations to perform emergency restoration work.
- Large scale mining operations.
- Forest industry personnel to remove or service equipment.
- Mine Act Permit holders – to remove equipment, to remove explosives from within explosive magazines and to monitor pumps engaged in dewatering of the underground.
Additionally, this order does not apply to the following BC Parks front country parks, however check through the regional districts for evacuation orders and alerts that may prevent travel into the area; Dry Gulch, James Charbot, Premier Lake, Wasa, Jimsmith Lake, Kikomun Creek, Mount Fernie, Moyie Lake, Norbury Lake, Yahk, Columbia Lake.
This order also does not apply to the following Ministry Of Transport and Infrastructure highway rest stops; Ryan, Crowsnest, Elk Valley.
In addition, this order does not apply to Crown land covered by water within the restricted area, provided that access and egress to water is via private land, municipal land, highway or BC Parks front country boat launch facility.
A map of the affected area is available online at: http://ow.ly/QCK130eRZFo
Smoky conditions may persist in the coming weeks. For information on air quality, as well as smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca
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