With the May long weekend that typically kicks off the camping season nearly upon us, BC natural resource officers, park rangers and conservation officers will be busy ensuring everyone enjoys a safe and peaceful holiday.

Provincial officials naturally step up their enforcement during the holidays and they will be patrolling Crown land, waterways and recreations sites, while also enforcing forest recreation regulations.

Most provincial parks and recreation sites are open for the May long weekend and up to date information can be found at the BC Parks website or the Recreations sites and trails BC website.

Here is some important information to bear in mind over the long weekend:


  • Many campgrounds have specified rules and guidelines. Visitors are asked to comply with the posted rules.
  • Gates in provincial parks and some recreation sites are closed at 11 p.m., unless otherwise stated. Only registered campers are allowed in campsites after 11 p.m.
  • Excessive noise is not permitted. Please remember that sound can travel far in the open air, especially music and loud talking.
  • Liquor consumption is prohibited in parks, with the exception of your own campsite.
  • Barbecues must be used on the ground unless barbecue attachments are provided on picnic tables.
  • To avoid problems with bears, lock your food in your vehicle at night.Use the garbage containers that are provided and maintain a clean campsite. Never feed or approach bears.
  • Designated swimming areas within marker buoys are intended to protect swimmers. All watercraft and water skiers must stay outside the markers.
  • Lifeguards are not on duty in BC Parks or recreation sites.
  • Visitors can use trails to travel safely through the most interesting and beautiful parts of BC Parks or recreation sites, without damaging sensitive and unique plant and wildlife habitat. Please stay on the trails.

Campfire safety

  • Always check the Wildfire Management Branch website – www.bcwildfire.ca before heading into the backcountry to find out if any open burning prohibitions are in effect.
  • Make sure the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave it unattended for any period of time. Ensure that cigarette butts are properly extinguished in an ashtray and are not tossed away carelessly.
  • Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter (roughly 11/2 feet by 11/2 feet). You must maintain a one-metre fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed.
  • You may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs if your negligence results in a wildfire.
  • Members of the public can report wildfires or unattended campfires by calling *5555 on a cellphone or by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.

Off-road vehicles

  • Most provincial parks are closed to off-road vehicle use unless posted as open.
  • Operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are reminded that these Vehicles must be insured while being driven on forest service roads.
  • Keep vehicles out of sensitive sites that are easily damaged, such as wetlands, grasslands, alpine areas and subalpine environments.
  • Failure to comply with regulations could result in a fine of $575 or (in more serious cases involving damage) up to $100,000 and a year in jail.


  • Make sure you have a valid angling licence (April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014) and are aware of angling regulations for the waters in your area, including gear and bait restrictions.
  • If you are operating a small vessel, ensure that you have your operator’s licence with you and be aware of safety regulations for operating small vessels.

Pets must be kept on a leash at all times within provincial parks and in some recreation sites. Pets are not allowed inside park buildings.

Reported by www.castanet.net