Message from BC Parks and Conservation Officer Service, Ministry of Environment

Stefanie Poisson

Message from BC Parks and Conservation Officer Service, Ministry of Environment

Good morning,
As I’m sure you are aware, the province is in a state of emergency. This along with the Extreme Fire Hazard rating, ongoing threat of wildfires and public safety reasons, Wells Gray Provincial Park has been closed since July 9th, 2017 until further notice. Furthermore this is for the safety of first responders and to ensure resources currently deployed to wildfires do not have to be diverted away from protecting homes and communities.
I understand this decision may cause frustration and disappointment, however, I can assure you BC Parks and the BC Wildfire Service have determined it is necessary for public safety.
While at this time no specific wildfire is immediately threatening Wells Gray, the wildfire situation in the province continues to worsen, and hot and dry weather conditions are expected to continue.
Wells Gray park also poses its own challenges, given its sheer size of over 500,000 hectares, and egress concerns if an evacuation was to occur.
At this time of year we can expect on average over 3000 visitors in various locations throughout the Park on a daily basis.
This park closure applies to all public and permit holders and I ask you to please respect this closure. Resources that are currently being used to enforce this closure can better be utilized protecting life and homes during this serious situation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeff Leahy at 250-371-6304.

Thank you for your time.
Jim Standen
Assistant Deputy Minister, BC Parks and Conservation Officer Service
Ministry of Environment

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