The Ministry of Forests announced Friday it is putting vehicle restrictions in place for areas impacted by the Elephant Hill, Chilcotin Plateau and Hanceville-Riske Creek fires to protect wildlife. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Vehicle restrictions in place to protect big game in wildfire areas

Ministry implements vehicle restrictions in areas impacted by fires to protect wildlife

To protect big game wildlife in areas severely affected by the summer’s wildfires the province announced late Friday it is putting two motor vehicle restrictions in place.

Wildfires in the Thompson and Cariboo regions have enabled motor vehicle access by hunters to remote moose and mule deer habitats that were previously only accessible by foot, the Ministry of Forests said in a press release, noting in addition, loss of vegetation from fires has significantly increased lines of sight for hunters.

Under the wildlife act, there are now restrictions in the Elephant Hill fire area of the Thompson region and within the Chilcotin Plateau and Hanceville-Riske Creek fires, effective until Dec. 10.

READ MORE: Hunting season being “assessed”by provincial government

READ MORE: Wildlife may survive these wildfires, if they’re fast

In the Elephant Hill fire area the use of ATVs for the purpose of licensed hunting is prohibited within Management Units 3-28, 3-29, and 3-30, and that portion of Management Unit 3-17 north of Highway 99.

Within the Chilcotin Plateau and Hanceville-Riske Creek fire areas the use of all motor vehicles for the purpose of licensed hunting is prohibited except on designated highways and mainline forestry roads.

The restrictions are expected to be in place until access and visibility conditions return to a state where wildlife are less vulnerable, the ministry said, noting the new restrictions do not apply to First Nations exercising Aboriginal rights to hunt.

Government will monitor the effectiveness of the restrictions and dependent on the review, further hunting restrictions may be implemented.

As wildfires in the East Kootenays have also been severe, the province is currently reviewing their extent and impact on wildlife, which may lead to further access restrictions, the ministry noted.

B.C. wildfires 2017

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Confusion surrounds terms of RCMP withdrawal from pipeline construction area

B.C. Deputy Commissioner clarifies terms of agreement following minister’s statements

Stop checks, searches of Wet’suwet’en pipeline opposers unlawful: Watchdog

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs file complaint

Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters speak up

“Protesters get one side of the story and they stand up with their fists in the air.”

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Most Read