Dozens ticketed for violating backcountry and fire ban in Sea to Sky corridor 


More than two dozen people have been handed violation tickets for breaking the backcountry travel ban and the campfire ban in the Sea to Sky corridor.

"Most people who were caught just accepted it," said Jeff Fedyk compliance and enforcement supervisor for the Squamish Forest Service.

"I think they accepted the risk when they went across the barrier."

Signs have been visible up and down the Sea to Sky Highway warning people to stay out of the backcountry and telling people of the extreme fire risk.

Fedyk said few of the violators made a fuss when given the tickets, which are identical to speeding tickets.

Most were glad, he said, not to be handed the $10,000 fine threatened by the government when it closed the backcountry Aug. 29.

Those who went into the backcountry were fined $230 while those who stated campfires were fined $345.

All the violators were caught during enforcement sweeps by forest service officials, conservation officers, or the RCMP.

The ban breakers had passed by or climbed over barriers and signs telling them of the restrictions.

"We never wrote a ticket to anyone who was off in the bush where there was not a single indication that there was a ban," said Fedyk.

Life is getting back to normal in the corridor after several days of on-again off-again rain.

But Whistler Fire Chief Bruce Hall warned people to remain vigilant as not enough rain has fallen to penetrate the soil and remove the threat.

"We still need more rain than we have had or are predicted to get so we are still urging people to be very, very careful in the backcountry and around Whistler," said Hall.

"I don’t think this area or the rest of the province is out of danger yet. We still need three to four days of heavy, heavy rain."

Firefighters responded to three fires over the weekend. The most serious was on Saturday at Lost Lake, about 300 feet off Centennial trail.

"We had quite large flames at that one but we were fortunate to get on that one quite quickly," said Hall.

The other two fires were in the bush near biking trails behind the Fairmont Chateau Whistler resort. The cause of the fires has yet to be determined.

Thanks to the rain the backcountry ban was lifted for the Squamish Forest District this week and all the trails in and around Whistler are open again, with the exception of B.C. Parks trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Cheakamus Lake and Callaghan Lake.

Check for updates.

Whistler-Blackcomb has also resumed normal operation with the Fitzsimmons Express Chairlift running for bikers this weekend.

The no-smoking ban is still in effect on the entire mountain. For more information call 604 932 4211.

The campfire ban remains in effect and will be assessed daily.

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