As crews battle wildfires in the area, the Regional District of North Okanagan is asking all residents to keep a safe distance from the Mabel Lake forest service road.
The gravel portion of the road from the kilometre 10-59 is closed to the public in order to allow BC Forestry crews space in battling the wildfires.
An Area Restriction Order was put in place on Aug. 4 as a result of fires in the Mabel Lake region (mainly the 1,861 hectare Mabel Creek blaze, which is one of 27 burning in the Monashee Complex).
The restriction will remain in place until Sept. 15, 2018, or until the order is rescinded. In addition to this, a road closure is now in effect along Mabel Lake Road to all recreational traffic in the same area, north of Mabel Lake Provincial Park to the junction of Highway 1, including all recreational sites along this section of road.
“Our main goal is to ensure the safety of the community, as well as the safety as those protecting it,” said Mike Fox, general manager of Community Services. “Closing off sections of Mabel Lake Road will decrease the risk in vehicle collisions due to hazardous road conditions, and also increase the safety of our forestry crews.”
Residents living in the Mabel Lake Holdings community, or other private residences along Mabel Lake Road will not be affected by this closure. The purpose of closing sections of this area is to assist with appropriate staging to face the fires with full road access and increased safety for BC Forestry crews and industry partners.
“The safety of the public and responders is our highest priority, and these roads are narrow with limited visibility,” said Jane Park, incident commander on the Incident Management Team. “These factors, combined with the fire hazards is what has caused these closures. We are working with Compliance and Enforcement Natural Resource Officers to patrol the closed areas with onsite security.”