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

Parksville Royals second at Victoria baseball tournament

Seniors player showcase talents in front of scouts

RCMP: Trio arrested, firearms seized after report of shots fired in rural Qualicum Beach

Police say search also found evidence of large-scale drug operation

Dougal the blind raven enjoys role as ambassador at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Bird helps animal care technicians teach visitors about his species

UPDATE: Qualicum Beach man, 51, dies in kayaking incident

No foul play suspected; body was found floating near Lasqueti Island

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Most Read