Several backcountry roads that were closed to motor vehicles for environmental protection after the 2021 wildfires have reopened.
Due to severe wildfire damage in the Thompson Okanagan and part of the Kootenays, 15 areas were closed to motor vehicles in the fall of 2021 under the Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation of the Wildlife Act. After a review of fire severity, degree of recovery and restoration activities in the affected areas, the Province has determined the closures can be reduced and, in some cases, removed.
Seven road closures have been rescinded, all within the Thompson-Okanagan region: Nk’Mip, Momich Lake, Two Mile Road, Bunting Road, Hunakwa Lake/Crazy Creek Gorge, Mowhokam Creek and Garrison Lake.
In addition, six of the remaining closed areas are being modified to improve public access while continuing to protect the environment: Sparks Lake, Tremont Creek, Thomas Creek, Lytton Creek/George Road, July Mountain and McKay Creek. Motor vehicles will be permitted within these areas, provided they stay on existing roads and trails. Off-road vehicle use in these areas is still prohibited.
The White Rock Lake closure area has decreased in size and all other restrictions are being maintained. The White Rock Lake fire was large and intense, and still requires focused management for rehabilitation.
Closures that remain will be in place while recovery efforts are planned and initiated. It is unknown how long the closures will remain.
Maps of the area, including downloadable georeferenced maps, are available: https://www.gov.bc.ca/motorvehicleprohibitions