VICTORIA -- Mounties on Vancouver Island say they will be closely monitoring a large motorcycle gathering planned for this weekend.

The first annual Devil's Hand Poker Run is scheduled to begin at noon in Campbell River.

Local RCMP say the event coordinators have not provided an estimated number of attendees.

"In the interest of police and public safety, the Campbell River RCMP would like to advise the public there will be an increased police presence in the area during this time," the detachment said in a statement Friday.

"Officers will be focussing on monitoring and enforcement of both provincial legislation as it pertains to driving offences under the Motor Vehicle Act and legislation contained in the criminal code as it pertains to impaired driving."

According to the B.C. RCMP's Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, a motorcycle gang known as the Devils Army has operated in Campbell River since opening a clubhouse in 2009. The RCMP has said in the past the group is a support club for the Hells Angels.

Campbell River RCMP are reminding those attending the gathering Saturday that adherence to public health orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is "strongly suggested."

"As cases in British Columbia continue to rise, following current safety guidelines is necessary not only to maintain the safety of the attendees, but to minimize the spread of this disease within our community," said Campbell River RCMP Sgt. Dave Johnson.