Updated for clarification Oct. 25, 2021
Which wildfire areas are affected by closures?
Why are these motorized-vehicle restrictions being put in place?
- Communities and forests were severely affected by the 2021 wildfire season, with more than 550,000 hectares of habitat in the Thompson Okanagan region burnt.
- The 2021 wildfires and fire suppression activities (e.g., creation of approximately 2,900 kilometres of fire guards) have opened areas that were previously difficult to access.
- High road and fire guard densities, improved sightlines for hunters and predators across burned landscapes, and concentration into remnant habitats are likely to increase vulnerability of wildlife populations.
- Unauthorized public access can have negative effects on sensitive burned ecosystems, including increased soil compaction, increased spread of invasive species and accelerated erosion of wildfire-charred soils, which impacts aquatic ecosystems and fish habitat.
Will these motor-vehicle prohibitions be permanent?
- These closures are intended as a temporary measure that will be in effect while restoration activities for the fire area are being planned and initiated. Although there is no “sunset clause” in the Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation, the intent is to repeal or replace these closures in approximately 18 months. Where appropriate, they will be replaced with site-specific mechanisms that reflect the fire severity, the degree of recovery and the intent of the recovery plans that will be collaboratively developed with First Nations and informed by stakeholders.
What types of vehicles are included in this prohibition?
- The motor-vehicle closure applies to all motorized vehicles, including automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, motorhomes, electric bikes and all types of off-road recreational vehicles, wheeled or tracked, including snowmobiles.
Which roads and trails are included in this motor-vehicle closure?
- All forest service roads except those identified in green on the motor-vehicle closure maps.
- All recreation trails and trail networks.
Which roads are not included in this motor-vehicle closure?
- All public roads. For the purposes of this closure, a public road is defined as a road that is maintained by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
- Forest service roads that are explicitly identified as open and highlighted green on the motor-vehicle closure maps. Accessible forest service roads are typically two-lane mainline gravel roads that provide routes through a motor-vehicle closure.
Can people hunt or recreate within the motor-vehicle closure areas?
- Hunting is permitted within motor-vehicle closure areas.
- Motor-vehicle closures can be accessed by non-motorized means for any recreational purpose (e.g., on foot, horseback or bicycle).
- As this area is sensitive to disturbance, people who need to go into the area are asked to stay on existing roads and trails to minimize any disturbance.
Are there any exceptions to the current motor-vehicle prohibitions?
- The order does not apply to commercial activities other than hunting.
- Commercial activities are exempted as there are existing regulations or conditions that can be added to authorizations that mitigate the potential of negative impacts.
- Individuals may use or operate a motor vehicle on private property and on roads used to access private property.
Are there permits avaliable to access a closure area using a motor vehicle?
Will the closure be enforced?
- Yes. Enforcement patrols will increase to enhance compliance and enforcement of these prohibitions. Outreach may be supported in partnership with First Nations Guardian patrols.
More Information on the motor-vehicle closure and maps can be found: