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Southeast Fire Centre reminds public of restrictions, prohibitions

Due to aggressive wildfires in East Kootenay, all Crown land within the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District is closed to public access.

The BC Wildfire Service is reminding the public that there are a number of restrictions within the Southeast Fire Centre.

The operation of any off-road vehicle (ORV) for recreational purposes on Crown land continues to be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre. Jeeps, trucks or other "on-highway" vehicles must remain on constructed or defined road surfaces.

Additionally, due to the many large, aggressive wildfires burning out-of-control in the East Kootenay region, all Crown land within the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District is closed to public access. The danger posed by these fires, combined with the limited routes in and out of many areas, led to the BC Wildfire Service taking the extraordinary step of closing the backcountry in the Rocky Mountain Resource District. This was done first and foremost to ensure public safety. A factsheet on this restriction is available at: http://ow.ly/5fe030eY06q

While the fire danger rating is "High" to "Extreme" in other parts of the Southeast Fire Centre, those areas are not experiencing the same number of large and active wildfires as seen in the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.

Also in the interest of public safety, and to help prevent human-caused wildfires, the following activities are prohibited:

  • campfires (as defined in the Wildfire Regulation: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirelegislation)
  • the burning of waste or other materials
  • stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
  • the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
  • the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)
  • the use of air curtain burners (forced-air burning systems)

The BC Wildfire Service is continually monitoring conditions, and this prohibition may be expanded or rescinded as needed. It will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.

For more details on these and other restrictions within the Southeast Fire Centre, please visit: http://ow.ly/mRWg30eXVQQ

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

To report an off-road violation, call the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1 877 952-7277.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. The Southeast Fire Centre includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news:

* On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

* On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo