Fire risk fuels road closure demands

Homeowners along Yankee Flats and McTavish roads are demanding the Ministry of Forests shut down the Kelly Main Forest Service Road

Residents of a rural area near Falkland are increasingly concerned they could be burned out.

Homeowners along Yankee Flats and McTavish roads are demanding the Ministry of Forests shut down the Kelly Main Forest Service Road until fire restrictions are lifted.

“We want to live through this heat wave,” said resident Pat Peebles.

“It (Kelly Main) is a road that goes no where but it’s become party central for partiers and mudboggers.”

Abandoned campfires have been found while the ground is littered with discarded cigarettes.

“For the last three weeks, we have done vigils up there because there’s knee-high grass and it’s tinder dry. it’s like walking on potato chips,” said Peebles.

The area is also popular as a shooting range but residents fear that broken glass from bottles could spark a blaze.

The ministry has been asked several times to close the forestry road down as fire restrictions are in place.

“We were told they won’t close the road unless there is a fire first. There are no proactive measures,” said Peebles.

Throughout the long weekend, senior women in the area will be attempting to block traffic.

“If we use women, we thought they (motorists) may have respect for grandmas and turn around,” said Peebles.

As of Friday, the operation of any off-road vehicle for recreational purposes on Crown land is prohibited.

“The operation of any off-road vehicles in these regions during the current wildfire situation creates a potential wildfire risk. While jeeps, trucks and other on-highway vehicles are permitted on designated roads, they are not allowed off-road,” states the ministry.