With wildfire season off to a roaring start in BC, ATVBC has tips for ATV Wildfire prevention.
Trip Pre-planning Activities
- Consider not riding during extreme wildfire danger ratings. During periods of heightened wildfire activity, British Columbians and visitors are asked to review their planned recreational activities and avoid travelling in remote backcountry areas where access may be difficult. This can help reduce the risk of accidental wildfire starts and also mitigate fire threats to those people if these remote areas are affected by wildfires
- Check local and regional government websites for wildfire alerts and orders. Do not ride in areas with alerts and orders.
- Check the BC Wildfire Service website or app for wildfires or area restrictions in your riding area
- Check for Rec Sites and Trails closures
- Ensure your machine has a functioning spark arrestor (see below)
If you choose to ride:
- Carry a fire extinguisher, extra water, an axe, and a shovel
- Stay on developed trails
- Follow ATV Forest Fire Safety tips provided by Rob Chatton of the Mid Island ATV Club
Spark arrestors required for off-road vehicles (ORVs) in British Columbia:
- All off-road vehicles are now required to have a spark arrestor installed to reduce wildfire risks when operating on Crown land. A spark arrestor is a small screen or other device that is installed in an exhaust system to stop sparks or other exhaust residue from exiting the tailpipe.
- Many new models of ORVs already have a spark arrestor. Owners of older models that do not have spark arrestors will need to get them installed if they wish to operate the ORV on Crown land.
- A contravention could result in a violation ticket fine of $460 or an administrative monetary penalty of up to $10,000 if an ORV without a spark arrestor is operating at a time or place where there is a risk of a wildfire starting.
- If a wildfire starts, the operator could receive a violation ticket fine of $575, an administrative monetary penalty of up to $10,000, or a court fine up to $1,000,000 and/or up to three years in jail. The person responsible could also be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.