All Crown land within the Cariboo Fire Centre is effectively closed to public access due to the continued extreme fire danger and the sheer number of active of wildfires throughout the region.

The BC Wildfire Service made the announcement Friday afternoon.

Allison Martin is the Fire Information Officer with the Central Cariboo Area Command.

“The last thing that the Fire Service needs is more fires to start. So we’re just asking people to take precaution, make sure that they’re not doing activities which could spark another fire and stretch our already stretched resources even further. So this ban is to potentially stop any new starts from happening.”

The restriction according to Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek does not apply to commercial operators or commercial businesses including Barkerville Historic Town & Park.

High winds are expected over the next few days which could result in considerable growth for the wildfires.

The order will remain in effect until September 5, 2017.

“It will certainly be lifted earlier if conditions allow,” says Skrepnek. “That’s totally going to depend on fire activity and what the ongoing level of danger is to the public.”

The area restriction order means that a person must not remain in or enter the restricted area without the prior written authorization of an official designated for the purposes of the Wildfire Act, unless the person enters the area in the course of:

 a) travelling to or from his or her principal residence, that is not under an evacuation order;

b) using a highway as defined in the Transportation Act;

c) travelling as a person acting in an official capacity;

d) travelling for the purpose of supporting wildfire suppression activities;

e) engaging in a commercial activity within the regular course of the person’s business or employment; or,

f) participating in a commercial activity that a person described in (e) provides.

 The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake (near Clinton) in the south to the Cottonwood River (near Quesnel) in the north and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.