Winter is coming. We’ve seen a few initial snowfalls, and it’s getting colder. People have been asking about the day-use shelters in the Rossland Range Recreation Site – will they be open for use?
The short answer is no.
Recreation Sites and Trails, BC has advised that the cabins remain closed for now, but unlocked and available for emergencies.
Given the rising number of cases of COVID-19 in BC and here in the Interior Health region, it’s hard to fault that decision. Friends of the Rossland Range (FORR) has no ability to ensure that the cabins are safe – there is no one to go around disinfecting surfaces. The cabins themselves are too small to allow for social distancing. As for wood supply, there has been no concerted effort to ensure a supply of firewood for the winter, given the closure of the cabins.
If an emergency arises and someone must resort to a cabin for shelter, it would be good to have tinder, kindling and firewood ready for emergency use in the cabin. For safety, everyone is asked to respect the cabin closure ruling and not to use up firewood, and to make sure that the makings for a fire are ready in each cabin in case of an emergency. If a person is injured, or taken ill, they don’t need to be rooting around in an empty woodshed trying to find the means to start a fire and stay warm; they may not even be able to do that.
Let’s leave the cabins for true emergencies this winter – and hope for a good snow season. Remember, everyone -- lunchtime and a strong desire for a hot fire and a traditional scorched cheese sandwich is not an emergency.