The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and its Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program partners will conduct two ecosystem restoration burns near Elko and Fort Steele between March 28 and April 29, 2016.
Trained firefighting crews from the BC Wildfire Service will carefully monitor these two burns at all times.
Rabbit Mountain, southwest of Elko:
- The 80-hectare controlled burn on Rabbit Mountain is part of an ecosystem restoration prescription for multiple areas within the Rocky Mountain Resource District.
- This year’s controlled burn is tied into previous fuel-reduction projects in the region. It will help rejuvenate the shrub and grass layer, reduce fuel loads, and decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfires for the community of Elko and a nearby sawmill.
- Smoke from this controlled burn may be visible from the communities of Elko, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fort Steele and surrounding areas, as well as from Highway 3 and Highway 93.
- During the burn period and the following evening, smoke may affect traffic on Highway 3 and Highway 93. Traffic control services and highway signs will be in place.
Lakit Ridge, about four kilometres northeast of Fort Steele:
- The 110-hectare controlled burn on Lakit Ridge will be conducted next to the site of the Brewery Ridge controlled burn that occurred in spring 2014.
- Prescribed fire projects such as these help maintain wildlife habitat and will specifically help increase forage range for bighorn sheep.
- They also reduce fuel loads on the landscape and therefore decrease wildfire risks for nearby communities.
- Smoke from this controlled burn may be visible from the communities of Elko, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fort Steele and surrounding areas, and from Highway 3 and Highway 93.
Fire is a natural, normal process in many ecosystems and is beneficial for maintaining a healthy forest and a diversity of plant and animal life. Many plants and animals have adapted to fire and some actually depend on it to reproduce.
All prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the open burning smoke control regulation. This helps minimize the amount of smoke generated.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
You can also follow the latest wildfire news:
- On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
- On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
A factsheet about prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration burns is available online: http://bit.ly/1haDzED
For more information about the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program, visit: www.trench-er.com