According to BC Parks, the cave and surrounding area are closed to public access until risks to public safety are determined and engagement with First Nations is completed. Photo submitted

According to BC Parks, the cave and surrounding area are closed to public access until risks to public safety are determined and engagement with First Nations is completed. Photo submitted

Explore B.C.’s latest cave discovery and face a $1M fine, jail

Anyone caught ignoring the closure risks a fine of up to $1 million, one year in jail, or both

Anyone thinking of visiting the newest discovery in Wells Gray Provincial Park north of Kamloops might want to think twice – they could get a $1-million fine and one year in jail.

The province has closed part of the park near the community of Clearwater, after Ministry of Environment and Climate Change staff spotted what could be the largest cave in Canada while conducting a caribou census.

It’s believed the cave – named Sarlacc’s Pit, a Star Wars reference, by those who found it – was formed underneath glaciers for tens of thousands of years and was only discovered nine months ago.

According to a public notice issued by BC Parks on Dec. 14, the cave and surrounding area are closed until risks to public safety are determined and First Nations are consulted. This includes the drainage of Ovis Creek, north of Azure Lake.

READ MORE: Newly discovered cave in Wells Gray Park might be the largest in Canada

The exact location of the cave is secret, in order to preserve the area, which may have rare and sensitive ecological attributes that have not been studied.

If someone is caught in the area, they will face separate offences for each day the regulation is ignored.

WATCH: Check out aerial views of the massive cave found in Well’s Gray Provincial Park

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