The Elephant Hill Wildfire Area, including the 100 Mile House Natural Resource District, has been closed to off-road vehicle use.

The decision was made by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to restore portions of Elephant Hill that were severely damaged by wildfires this past summer.

The ban, effective today, includes automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and all types of off-road recreational vehicles, except on existing roads.

The closure will be in effect until December 31st, while restoration activities for the area are being planned and implemented.

Roughly 191,865 hectares was scorched by the Elephant Hill wildfire.

The closure also aims to support wildfire-recovery management strategies, and is in response to an anticipated increase of unmanaged recreational off-road vehicle use and camping pressures on sensitive ecosystems in the area.

Unauthorized off-road vehicle use can have many negative effects including soil compaction, erosion, increases in invasive plants, garbage accumulation and pollution from camper trailer holding tanks.

This closure will not apply to snowmobiles operating on a minimum of half a metre of snow or to the existing trails…Green Lake Snowmobile Trail, 70-Mile Green Lake Trail or the Interlakes Snowmobile Trail.