Backcountry roads in the Thompson-Okanagan that were closed due to last year’s wildfires will remain closed this season.
A media release from the Ministry of Forests says the closures are to ensure the protection of wildlife and the environment. The affected areas are:
- Sparks Lake (between Kamloops and Ashcroft)
- Momich Lake (north of Salmon Arm)
- Tremont Creek (south of Ashcroft)
- Two Mile Road (between Boston Bar and Lillooet)
- Bunting Road (north of Lumby)
- Hunakwa/Crazy Creek complex (north of Sicamous)
- Thomas Creek (east of Okanagan Falls)
- Nk’Mip (north of Osoyoos)
- July Mountain (south of Merritt)
- White Rock Lake (west of Vernon)
- Garrison Lake (south of Princeton)
- Mckay Creek (north Lillooet)
- Mowhokam Creek (north of Boston Bar)
- Lytton complex (south of Lytton)
Closure boundaries follow landmarks such as roads, rivers and streams near wildfire perimeters. The closures do not impact residents or access for commercial activities. Users may apply to access certain closed roads within these areas on an individual basis.
The closures were established under the Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation of the Wildlife Act and apply to backcountry roads across approximately 536,000 hectares. The roads were closed to allow areas to recover from wildfire impacts including:
- erosion of charred soils and impacts on fish habitat;
- increased vulnerability of wildlife due to migration disruptions, habitat loss and loss of vegetation cover; and
- increased open areas due to construction of approximately 2,900 kilometres of fireguards.
Maps of the affected areas are available on the provincial government website.