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Partial closure for Mabel Lake Road: wildfires

A partial closure for Mabel Lake Road is now in place due to nearby wildfires. Sylvia Wilson

With several wildfires burning in the North Okanagan, the local regional district is reminding people of an area restriction order near Mabel Lake.

There are nine fires of note burning east of Mabel Lake, the biggest being the Mabel Creek wildfire, estimated at 1,861 hectares as of Tuesday morning. The area restriction order was put in place on Monday, August 4.

The Regional District of the North Okanagan said the area restriction order will remain in place until September 15, or until it is rescinded.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires map 2018: Current location of wildfires around the province

In addition to the area restriction order, a road closure is now in effect along Mabel Lake Road to all recreational traffic, from kilometre 10 (north of Mabel Lake Provincial Park) to kilometre 59 (junction of Highway 1), including all recreational sites in that section. According to the RDNO, the closure is to “allow B.C. forestry crews space in battling the wildfires.”

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“Our main goal is to ensure the safety of the community, as well as the safety as those protecting it,” said Mike Fox, RDNO’s general manager of community services. “Closing off sections of Mabel Lake Road will decrease the risk in vehicle collisions due to hazardous road conditions, and also increase the safety of our forestry crews.”

READ MORE: Province asks for federal help fighting wildfires

The RDNO said residents living in the Mabel Lake Holdings community, or other private residences along Mabel Lake Road, will not be affected by this closure.

“The safety of the public and responders is our highest priority, and these roads are narrow with limited visibility,” said Jane Park, Parks Canada incident commander. “These factors, combined with the fire hazards is what has caused these closures. We are working with compliance and enforcement natural resource officers to patrol the closed areas with onsite security.”

A map of the Mabel Lake Road closure can be found at http://www.bcfireinfo.ca or for more information on active wildfires currently effecting the region, please visit http://www.bcwildfire.ca.

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