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Hunters reminded about off-road vehicle bans because of wildfires

Last Updated Sep 12, 2017 at 10:58 pm PDT

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Off-road vehicle bans and area restrictions are in place for parts of the province

Hunting season means more people may be wanting to access the backcountry: BC Wildfire Service

The main priority is maintaining public safety, as well as preventing more human-caused wildfires

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Hunters could cause more problems in the Interior if they aren’t careful. The BC Wildfire Service is reminding people about restrictions and bans in place because of this record breaking wildfire season.

According to Fire Information Officer Ryan Turcot, hunters in three specific regions may be affected by off-road vehicle prohibitions.

“That includes the Thompson-Nicola region, the Kootenay region and the Cariboo region.”

So that means no quads, side by sides, or dirt bikes. He says the rationale behind banning these types of vehicles is that the heat generated from exhaust systems and engines can actually spark a wildfire if it comes into contact with dry brush off-roads.

The main goal is to ensure public safety. It’s also to prevent further human-caused fires from starting.

So what about taking your pick-up truck into the back roads?

“The answer to that is yes, as long as you are staying to those well-defined roads.”

That means absolutely no off-roading.

“You are still allowed to access the backcountry in most of these areas as long as you’re in a highway-ready vehicle,” he explains.

Related Article: Backcountry ban issued in BC’s Central Interior

“I think this should be pretty obvious, but just given how high the fire danger still is in a lot of areas, the use of exploding binary targets is still prohibited really throughout most of the province. That’s covered under the open burning prohibitions that were put in place in most areas in the spring.”

Given how significant this wildfire season has been, Turcot adds all precautions are being taken to ensure the province is kept as safe as it can be.

He adds hunters need to make sure they’re not planning to travel to a region where there’s an area restriction because of active fires.

For more information on area restrictions, and more information on bans, click here.