The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, in collaboration with the BC Wildfire Service, plans to complete a 23-hectare fuel management project around the community of Dease Lake throughout the spring and summer of 2019 to help reduce wildfire risks.
The areas to be treated are located near or, in some cases, next to private property. They were identified as facing a high wildfire risk and made a high priority to be treated in the Cassiar Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which includes the communities of Iskut, Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake.
Fuel management projects can include activities such as pruning, thinning, clearing and burning or chipping flammable materials such as trees, other types of vegetation and dead wood. Piles of these materials will be chipped or burned when weather and site conditions are suitable. Wind speed, wind direction and venting conditions will be considered prior to igniting any piles to help reduce the amount of smoke generated.
Trees that are cut down will be used as firewood by community residents. Larger pieces that cannot be removed from the treated area will be left lying on the ground to provide habitat for plants, animals and insects, and a source of nutrients for the soil.
FireSmart and fuel management:
Fuel management is a key component of the FireSmart program. The objective is to reduce wildfire risks on Crown land and nearby properties, while 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 chipping or 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.
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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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: www.firesmartbc.ca
The FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual and a risk assessment checklist are available on the BC Wildfire Service website: www.bcwildfire.ca