As a Response to Drought, Kamloops Temporarily Closes Parks, Trails, and Bike Park

Due to extreme fire danger and a Level 5 drought, the City of Kamloops has taken the step of closing all nature parks and trails to the public. 

The decision was made by Fire Chief Ken Uzeloc to ensure public safety as both the fire danger rating and drought severity are at the highest levels according to provincial scales.

The closures, effective from 4 PM on Friday, August 4, cover all nature parks and nature trails, including the Kamloops Bike Ranch. The exact list of parks affected by the order is yet to be provided by the city. 

Chief Uzeloc clarified that the restriction pertains to areas within natural spaces surrounded by vegetation, rather than groomed parks.

During the closure, biking, pedestrian, and vehicle traffic will be prohibited. City crews are in the process of installing closure signs, and they will be closely monitoring the parks to ensure compliance. Community Services Officers may issue fines for violations.

The current fire and drought conditions in Kamloops are unprecedented, with both the provincial fire danger rating and drought severity reaching their highest levels. The BC Wildfire Service is already stretched thin due to numerous fires across the province, making it essential to prevent any additional fire starts.

The extreme fire danger rating indicates extremely dry forest fuels and a very serious fire risk. Likewise, Drought Level 5 suggests that adverse impacts to various aspects are almost certain. This has prompted the city to implement new watering restrictions, including a 25% reduction in water usage.

In addition to park closures, the Barnhartvale Landfill and Yard Waste Depot will also be closed from 4 PM on August 4 until further notice. Residents are advised to use alternative facilities.

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