Big White prepared for fire season

The resort is working to complete its bike park by opening day, Aug. 4

In efforts to complete B.C.’s latest mountain biking park, Big White Ski Resort caught another curveball after being ordered out of the forest at 1 p.m. daily.

“First it was too much snow, then the snow was melting too fast and everything was too wet and now, it’s hot and everything is too dry and we have to stop work at 1 p.m.,” said senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall of Big White Ski Resort. “Mother Nature has an incredible sense of humour this summer, but our build team is made up of mountain bikers and they will get it ready even with hand shovels by our scheduled opening day of Aug. 4.”

The compliance enforcement order was issued July 18 to all industry and commercial machine activity in B.C. in the Thompson River-Okanagan-Kamloops fire service district, under the Wildfire Act by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources.

The order states that if an industrial or commercial work area is a level for fire hazard (high) for three-consecutive days, all machine operations must stop from 1 p.m. until sundown. In addition, there must be a two-hour fire watch scheduled after the machines have stopped operating.

In response to this order, and with the approaching opening date of Bike Big White in mind, Big White has rescheduled its 13 men working on the bike park to build from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. with machines (chainsaws, bush saws, diggers) and then 1 p.m. 3 p.m. with hand tools (rakes, shovels, watering tools), as well as schedule the mandatory two-hour fire watch.

For more information on Big White’s new downhill mountain bike park, visit the resort’s website or follow @BikeBigWhite on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.