ATVs use in the backcountry in the Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast fire centres is banned as of noon today.

Off-road vehicle ban in effect as of noon today

BC Wildfire Service is prohibiting the use of off-road vehicles in the Southeast Centre as of today

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok told the Bulletin Friday morning that effective noon today, Friday, August 4, the BC Wildfire Service will prohibit the use of off-road vehicles (quads, dirt bikes etc.) in the Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast Fire Centres.

Clovechok and fellow MLA Tom Shypitka from Kootenay East began advocating publicly for the ban on Thursday.

Clovechok said he spoke to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Doug Donaldson about the ban.

“I had a conversation with him and I was really impressed. He was open and flexible. This isn’t about politics, this is about protecting people.”

Clovechok said he anticipated there may be some park closures as well when the announcement is made later this morning.

“They are also going to step up the CO service. There will be more patrols this weekend.”

The fine for operating an off-road vehicle while banned is $767, but even bigger is what could happen if the vehicle is involved in starting a fire.

“If it is decided that a person in contravention of the ban contributed to a fire, the person responsible will be ordered to ay firefighting costs,” Clovechok said.

The issue now, Clovechok said, is to get the message out to everyone planning to be out in the backcountry this long weekend.