Elephant Mountain on the evening of July 7, 201. The full area of the wildfire is off-limits to all motorized vehicles except on designated roads. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Elephant Mountain on the evening of July 7, 201. The full area of the wildfire is off-limits to all motorized vehicles except on designated roads. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Elephant Hill wildfire area closed to motorized vehicles except on exisiting roads for two more years

Ban was set to expire in Dec. 2018, but has been extended to Dec. 2020

The Province is taking action to restore and recover portions of Elephant Hill and Allie Lake that were severely affected by wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

Effective Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, fire areas that are part of Elephant Hill and Allie Lake will be closed to motorized vehicles, including automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and all types of off-road recreational vehicles, except on existing roads. The closure will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2020, while restoration and recovery activities for the areas’ sensitive ecosystems are implemented. A map showing the boundaries of the closure is available online at http://ow.ly/b6ig30n2fVm.

In 2017, the Elephant Hill wildfire burned an estimated 191,865 hectares. The motorized closure for the Elephant Hill fire was originally set to expire Dec. 31, 2018, but is being extended to Dec. 31, 2020, given the extent of the access management, rehabilitation, and other restoration activities that need to occur.

The Allie Lake wildfire in 2018 burned an estimated 2,700 hectares and opened up areas that were previously difficult to access.

The closure of these areas aims to support wildfire-recovery management strategies and mitigate unauthorized off-road vehicle use that may have negative effects, including soil compaction, erosion, and increases in invasive plants. This affects grassland health, wildlife habitat, and quality/availability of water for wildlife and livestock.

The closure will not apply to:

* authorized users performing activities associated with agreements awarded pursuant to provincial statute, such as existing tenures

* snowmobiles operating on a minimum of 0.5 metres of snow

* the following existing recreational trails:

* Green Lake Snowmobile Trail (REC6246)

* 70 Mile-Green Lake Trail (REC6897)

* Interlakes Snowmobile Trail (REC6961)

Existing roads will remain open for public access into the closure area. Non-motorized uses are not restricted.

Note that off-road vehicle owners must register their off-road vehicle if it will be used or operated on Crown land, including resource roads, and must comply with the registration and insurance requirements of the jurisdiction where the off-road vehicle is operated.

Secwepemc communities and the Province of B.C. are working collaboratively on wildfire recovery and land base management in the Elephant Hill fire area and surrounding area.

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