Backcountry ban demanded

Residents of the Yankee Flats area keep vehicles from using the Kelly Main Forest Service Road. (photo submitted)

A group of Falkland area residents are demanding the provincial government take action during B.C.’s wildfire crisis.

Yankee Flats Road residents have written Forests Minsister Doug Donaldson asking for a full backcountry closure as a way of preventing further fires.

“We feel that the good, responsible people use common sense and are not going into the backcountry at this time. Sadly, the irresponsible, non-law abiding people who uses no common sense are the ones that we need the rules for to keep the rest of us safe,” said resident Pat Peebles in the letter.

“To enable the RCMP, fire wardens and forestry officials to be able to do their jobs effectively, we need you to implement a full backcountry closure order. Please take this into consideration ASAP, as it only takes one fool to start something catastrophic again.”

The residents have been turning away vehicles on the Kelly Main Forest Service Road because there is a concern someone could ignite a fire.

On Monday night, a quad went through the road check and crashed over some caution signs.

“This person was operating with no helmet and no licence plate. On Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m., they started gunfire up the mountain until almost noon. We called the RCMP and they explained that if a vehicle goes up the Kelly Main Forest road, parks on the roadway and then walks off into the dry grass to do target practice, that this is still acceptable and legal under your (Donaldson) partial backcountry ban,” said Peebles.

“This means that any people coming to party, drink, smoke cigarettes will still be allowed to do this as long as they just park on the roadway.”