For Immediate Release
Sept. 8, 2003

Ministry of Forests


VICTORIA - As a result of rainfall that fell in parts of the province during
the weekend, government has lifted its backcountry travel restriction in
some areas.

Meteorological evaluations and reduced fire danger ratings have allowed
ministry officials to re-open backcountry areas on Southern Vancouver Island
and the Kootenays.

The following forest districts are again open to backcountry travel:
Squamish, South Island (Vancouver Island), Rocky Mountain, Columbia, Arrow
Boundary and Kootenay Lake, except where other closures are in effect.

The following forest districts remain closed because of the continuing
extreme fire hazard: Chilliwack, Cascades, Kamloops, Okanagan-Shuswap and
the Headwaters forest district south of Blue River. 

British Columbians are urged to remain vigilant and to act responsibly when
enjoying the outdoors. The public is reminded to report wildfires by calling
1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks. To report any suspicious
activity, please call the above number (1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most
cellular networks) or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

A reward of up to $50,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest
and conviction of anyone involved in deliberately setting wildfires. Arson
is a criminal offence and is punishable by significant fines and/or

For more information on the specific Forest Service restrictions, closures
and campfire bans, see the Ministry of Forests Protection Branch Web site at or contact the local forest district office. For
specific park and protected area closures and restriction information, see
the B.C. Parks Web site at For tourism information, contact