City nature parks, backcountry closed due to extreme fire risk

By Vanessa Ybarra
August 4, 2017 - 5:23pm Updated: August 8, 2017 - 1:53pm

KAMLOOPS — For the second time in a month, the City of Kamloops has closed all city parks due to an extreme fire risk.

Officials say the extremely dry conditions throughout the City has made keeping the parks open simply too dangerous.

And it isn't just city parks being banned.

As of noon Friday, a backcountry closure was also issued for motorized vehicles.

Empty nature parks will be a common sight again in Kamloops.

A week and a hald after re-opening city parks, the city has closed them until further notice.

"The reports we're geting from throughout the province are indicating the conditions we have right now are unprecedented in regards to the fire danger rating," said Mike Adams, Fire Chief with Kamloops Fire Rescue. "We're airing on the side of precaution."

Along with public parks, the province announced a backcountry closure for off road vehicles through the Kamloops, Cariboo and Southeast Fire Centre effective noon Friday. 

Kamloops 4X4 Club President Charles Denbigh supports the decision, saying conditions in the Lac du Bois area
are the driest in 30 years.

"It's just not safe at the moment," said Denbigh. "If you get caught out there, fires move so fast you'd never be able to outrun it.

Denbigh says a lot of riders haven't been using their designated area for the last few weeks for fear of starting a fire.

"Most people have been pretty good with it," said Denbigh.

The off-road ban applies to crown land only.

While private land is still open to motor vehicles, outdoor enthusiasts are being urged to take extra precautions.

At RTR Performance they sell spark arresters that limit the sparks coming out of a quad or bike decreasing the chance of starting a fire.

"A spark arrester is like a diffuser and it will get caught in the screen or put out the spark or stop it," said George Merry, Service Manager for RTR Performance. "We have seen an increase people buying them this season."

With no rain in the forecast fo the forseeable future, officials say its crucial residents recognize their role in preventing wildfires.

City park closures include:

  • Batchelor Nature Park
  • Campbell Creek Nature Park
  • Capilano Park
  • Closed right of way (runs between barnhartvale through juniper to peterson creek)
  • Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park
  • Gleneagles Park
  • High Canada Place Park
  • Highland Park 
  • Kamloops Bike Ranch
  • Kenna Cartwright Nature Park
  • Peterson Creek Nature Park
  • Pineview Valley Park
  • Rose Hill Park
  • Sahali Terrace Nature Park
  • Sifton Loop Trail
  • Skyline Park
  • Valleyview Nature Park

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