Province closes off Elephant Hill, Allie Lake fire footprints to off-road vehicles

By James Peters
December 19, 2018 - 9:17am

CACHE CREEK, B.C. — The B.C. government has announced it will close off a large portion of the Interior to off-road vehicle use, effective January 1, 2019.

The areas affected are those scorched by the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017 and the Allie Lake wildfire earlier this year.

In a news release, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development says those areas will be off limits for "automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and all types of off-road recreational vehicles, except on existing roads."

The closure will be in effect until December 31, 2020.

The Elephant Hill area, totalling nearly 200,000 hectares, was already subject to an off-road vehicle closure, but the ministry says that was set to expire on December 31, 2018.

Instead, the closure has been extended for another two years.

The Allie Lake fire scorched an additional 2,700 hectares just to the east of the Elephant Hill footprint.

According to the ministry, the closure is meant to "support wildfire-recovery management strategies and mitigate unauthorized off-road vehicle use that may have negative effects."

Those impacts can include soil compaction and erosion, as well as the increase in invasive plant species.

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