Despite being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure health measures can be maintained, a natural hot springs located in southeastern British Columbia has continued to be a site of vandalism and health violation problems.
B.C. Parks issued a reminder on January 15 that Lussier Hot Springs in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park, located in the East Kootenays near the Alberta border, is temporarily closed during the pandemic. It has remained closed since March 20, 2020, due to the large number of visitors gathering there.
Although new fencing at the main path entrance and additional signage have been added to inform visitors about the closure, B.C. Parks said vandalism remains an ongoing issue.
In addition, park rangers have continued to issue fines to several individuals who have entered the hot springs.
Anyone found in a closed area of a provincial park is violating the Park Act and will receive a fine.
The Kimberley Bulletin reported that as of August 26, park rangers had issued about 220 eviction notices and 25 violation tickets in relation to the closure.
B.C. Parks recommends people use hot springs in the neighbouring locations of Fairmont and Radium that have developed facilities where physical distancing is possible.