Due to the recent unprecedented wildfire activity throughout the East Kootenay, BC Wildfire Service has restricted all public access to crown land in the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.
"In the past 24 hours, we have been seeing very aggressive, extreme wildfire activity that we have never seen before within that area," says Fire Information Officer Karlie Shaughnessy. "This is a risk to public safety, and, therefore, that's why we have implemented this restriction throughout the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District, effective at noon (Pacific Time) on Saturday, September 2."
Some of the factors at play include the current wildfire activity, as well as current weather conditions and forecasts.
Previously, there were exceptions in the land restrictions for registered guides and outfitters, as well as licensed bow hunters, but Shaughnessy confirms that they too are included in the prohibition.
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 Transportation Act;
- Travelling as a person acting in an official capacity;
- Travelling for the purpose of supporting wildfire suppression activities.
This closure includes the BC/Alberta border to the east, north to Golden, West to Yahk and near Kootenay Lake, and south to the Canada/US border.
A map of the affected area is available online at: http://ow.ly/EfiR30eQBUm
The public is encouraged to visit BC Parks' website to see which provincial parks are open and closed at this time.
There is also a new fact sheet released by the BC Wildfire Service that has more information.