Multiple RMs are asking heavier vehicles to stay off municipal roads as conditions have softened gravel and dirt roads around the area.

The recent spat of warm air has softened the ground enough that heavy vehicles could damage those roads by creating ruts.

Reeve of the RM of Estevan Jason LeBlanc says they're watching the situation to make sure no more action is needed.

"We're monitoring the roads very, very closely. We're watching, making sure that the culverts are thawed and that the water is flowing. Everybody's kind of caught in a unique weather cycle here and the tops of the roads are definitely sloppy. But the structure of the road is holding up very well in most spots."

"We do have a couple that we're we're watching very closely, but we're advising all heavy equipment and basically anything that doesn't need to be on the roads to stay off it until we get into below freezing again and get the roads surface back hardened up again." 

The RM is avoiding a full road ban as people still need to go from place to place along those roads.

"Smaller vehicles are fine and it's just kind of a common sense approach," said LeBlanc, "These roads belong to the taxpayer and we don't want to stop them from using their own roads. But we ask that everybody use their head a little and if we have to put a road ban on, it'll be because somebody screwed up, it won't be because we just want to be iron-fisted on it."

Other RMs have already put road bans in place both for heavy vehicles and for non-local traffic as well.

"Everybody has a different soil structure and a different road pattern, so each RM's kind of individual and unique on their own because of the different soils that their roads are made up out of," said LeBlanc, But for the most part, the theory is the same."

Even as the RM's roads are in a delicate position the need to use those doesn't stop, says LeBlanc.

"It's a unique situation that's never happened in the history of the RM where we've had thawing conditions in February that stuck around for more than a couple of days so there are some issues there for sure, but, farmers and ranchers got to feed their cattle, so we're not going to be stopping that. Some of the oil companies are some of our biggest taxpayers, they have to get their product out and make their things happen."

The RM does have systems and people in place to make sure roads don't get too damaged over the warm period.

"There are road maintenance agreements in place. There are people that are monitoring the roads. The counselors do a great job of taking phone calls and conversations and for the most part, in fact almost 99%, of the people are great, they get it. They understand that they don't need to have road bans, they need to use their head and we've had zero issues. This will be our 4th year now of not enforcing the ban because people pay attention and they get it, they're smart."