There is already a campfire ban in place around the region in the provincial park, and the Park already banned smoking, fires and briquette barbecues within the Park, but the board decided to take it to the next level to ban all cooking appliances, such as propane barbecues, Coleman-type stoves and any other cooking appliances that use fuel to operate.
The ban is effective immediately as of Friday morning.
“During the summer months, Cultus Lake Park is a very popular place to visit, and over the long weekends, the number of people who visit increases greatly,” Cultus Lake Park Board Chair David Renwick said in a press release issued Thursday. “Cultus Lake Park is extremely dry right now, and any decisions we can make to keep the fire risk low are sound ones. The safety of our community is paramount.”
This ban on cooking stoves applies not to the Cultus Lake Provincial Park but to the Cultus Lake Park area, which includes Main Beach, popular with day-use visitors from around the region.
“Due to the extreme weather conditions we are experiencing, it is in the best interest for the residents and visitors to Cultus Lake Park to ban all use of gas-fuelled cooking appliances in all public areas,” Cultus fire chief Warren Mazuren.
Mazuren also suggested the park’s trail system be closed due to fire risk.
“Looking at the long term forecast, I recommend closing the trails immediately to reduce any fire risk in the park.”
As of 9 a.m. on Aug. 4, the Cultus Lake Park trail system will be closed and the entrances to the trails will be barricaded or roped off. The areas to be closed include access to the trailhead off Lakeshore Drive to Parmenter Road, the trail access off 44 Lakeshore Drive, all trailhead accesses off Sunnyside Boulevard into the forested area, the trail access behind Funland, and the trail access off the end of Mountain View Road. The large walkway access at the end of Park Drive that leads to Columbia Valley Highway will be closed as well.
”Any decisions we can make to keep the fire risk low, including closing the trails, have been thoroughly considered and the decision was made with the safety of our community in mind,” Renwick said.
Areas affected for the gas-fuelled cooking bans are all public areas including Main Beach; Birch Street Park; Oak Street Park; Westside public areas; Parking Lots A, B, C and D; Cultus Lake Park Foreshore; Trails and Sunnyside Campground beach area.
The fire ban does not affect the residential lots, or the designated camping sites at Sunnyside Campground.