The BC Wildfire Service, in collaboration with BC Parks, will be burning piles of wood debris in Call Lake Provincial Park between April 15 and May 31, 2019, as part of a multi-year FireSmart project to reduce wildfire risks in the area.
These burns could begin as early as Monday, April 15, 2019, if weather and site conditions are suitable. Wind speed, wind direction and venting conditions will be considered prior to ignition, to help the smoke dissipate as quickly as possible.
Smoke will likely be visible from Smithers and other nearby communities when firefighting crews are burning these piles.
The wood debris piles are the result of forest thinning and pruning activities that occurred in 2018, during the first phase of this multi-year project. Phase 2 will continue throughout 2019 when BC Wildfire Service crews are not actively fighting or preparing for wildfires.
The project area covers 10 hectares of forested land within Call Lake Provincial Park, about five kilometres southeast of Smithers. None of the planned fuel management treatments will take place in grassland or riparian ecosystems, or on adjacent private land. Posted signs will inform recreational day users of the park when crews are working in the area, and short-term closures of some trail sections may occur.
FireSmart and fuel management:
Fuel management is a key component of the FireSmart program. The objective is to reduce wildfire risks in the park and on adjacent properties, while also making it easier and safer for firefighters to access and work in the treated areas in the event of a wildfire.
These goals are achieved by:
- removing flammable materials from the forest floor (such as branches, needles and leaf debris), piling them up and burning them under controlled conditions;
- pruning the lower branches of trees that could otherwise allow a surface wildfire to spread into the forest canopy;
- thinning the forest canopy to leave more open space between trees;
- removing dead standing trees that could fuel a wildfire or pose a safety risk to trail users; and
- retaining mature coniferous and deciduous trees, wildfire habitat trees and coarse woody debris (i.e. logs on the forest floor that are home to various species of wildlife) to promote biodiversity.
FireSmart is a shared responsibility:
B.C. landowners are encouraged to use FireSmart principles to reduce the risk of a wildfire spreading to their homes and private property. More information about the British Columbia FireSmart program is available online at: www.firesmartbc.ca
The FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual and a risk assessment checklist are available on the BC Wildfire Service website at: www.bcwildfire.ca
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, 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: www.bcwildfire.ca
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