The Ministry of Environment advises that a series of ecosystem restoration burns is planned for the Churn Creek Protected Area from March 25 to April 17, 2015, weather permitting.
About 250 hectares will be treated in the Coal Pit and Empire Valley areas of the Churn Creek Protected Area over the course of three different prescribed burns. These low-intensity fires will be managed by BC Parks and will be conducted with the assistance of Wildfire Management Branch crews from the Cariboo Fire Centre.
These projects are intended to enhance wildlife habitat and improve forage for mule deer and bighorn sheep. The proactive use of fire also will reduce the amount of sagebrush in the area and help prevent the encroachment of fir trees on open grasslands.
BC Parks is conducting this project as part of its ongoing grassland restoration efforts. The ecological integrity of the Churn Creek area has declined since European settlement, partly due to the suppression of naturally occurring wildfires. Using aerial photos from the early 1950s, BC Parks staff have drawn up a 50-year plan to reintroduce controlled burning in the Churn Creek Protected Area.
Fire is a natural process in many of British Columbia’s ecosystems and many species of plants, birds, insects and other animals depend on fire for its regenerative properties. The size and intensity of prescribed burns are carefully planned and controlled to meet management objectives for fire-maintained ecosystems.
Each fire will be carefully monitored by trained Wildfire Management Branch personnel at all times. The fire crew supervisor (the “burn boss”) is responsible for ensuring that initial burning and wind conditions are favourable and that the fire is fully extinguished once the prescribed burning is completed.
All prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the open burning smoke control regulation, helping to minimize the amount of smoke generated.
Ministry of Environment