The Town of Peace River is currently under a full Fire Ban (see more information here). Included under that Fire Ban is that no Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use is allowed on public lands and roadways in Town, and we often get asked why. So, here are the answers!

OHVs – like quads/ATVs, side-by-sides, and dirt bikes – have exhaust systems that can heat up to more than 200°C.

So, you can only imagine how quickly that an start a fire, as you ride through fire-starting materials such as grass, moss, muskeg, and other debris. You likely wouldn’t even notice the fire starting as you ride, with the materials first heating up from your exhaust, before smouldering and eventually igniting into a fire.

Additionally, these materials can build up on your OHV as you ride, causing them to ignite even quicker, before falling off your vehicle or being blown off, which also results in the potential of starting fires.

We do get people who still choose to ride their OHVs on their private land, and if you’re going to do that, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Remove debris from your machine before riding.
  2. Clean out any areas that could build up grass or other materials.
  3. Carry firefighting equipment at all times, including a fire extinguisher. If you can, also bring a small shovel and pail with you, to help stop any fires before they have a chance to spread.
  4. Make sure your muffler and spark arrestor are working properly.
  5. Stop frequently while riding. Take the time – all 30 seconds – to knock debris from your machine’s hot spots.

If at any point while you are riding, you notice there is debris or other materials smouldering, stop riding immediately. Soak the smouldering material, stir it, and soak it again to make sure it is fully extinguished, with no chance of reignition.