Monday, April 23, 2018

Prescribed burns to restore Cariboo-Chilcotin grasslands (Apr 23-May 15th)

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development plans to conduct a series of ecosystem restoration burns southwest of Williams Lake between April 23 and May 15, 2018, weather conditions permitting.

These prescribed burns will be administered by the ministry’s Ecosystem Restoration Program, with the assistance of the BC Wildfire Service:

Doc English Lake area (Becher Prairie), near Riske Creek: 110 hectares south of Highway 20 near Cotton Road, about 30 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.

Saddlehorse Mountain: 45 hectares about five kilometres south of Farwell Canyon Bridge and about 50 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.

Smoke from these fires may be visible from nearby communities. The decision on when to proceed with these burns will depend on weather and site conditions. Such burns are conducted only when conditions are suitable and will allow for quick smoke dissipation. Fire crews will carefully monitor the fires at all times.

A prescribed fire is an intentionally ignited fire that is planned and managed by a certified burn boss. The burn boss is responsible for ensuring that the initial burn conditions are favourable and that the fires are extinguished once the prescribed burns are completed.

Historically, grasslands in the Cariboo-Chilcotin were renewed through frequent, low-intensity ground fires. Such fires prevented tree encroachment, rejuvenated understory plants and helped maintain more open grasslands and forests with large trees. The reintroduction of managed, low-intensity ground fires to these grasslands is intended to restore and maintain traditional grassland plant communities that are native to these areas. These managed fires also reduce fuel loads (accumulations of flammable materials), decreasing the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

Resource management fires, such as these, are part of an ongoing ecosystem restoration program administered by the provincial government through the Cariboo’s Ecosystem Restoration Steering Committee, in consultation with First Nations, local ranchers, local forest licensees, outdoors organizations, the Fraser Basin Council, the B.C. Wildlife Federation and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Society.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, please call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST or visit:

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A factsheet about prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration burns is available online:

To learn more about the Cariboo-Chilcotin Ecosystem Restoration Committee, visit:

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