Monday, March 4, 2019

Fuel management work continues around 108 Mile Ranch

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Map of proposed fuel management works
The 108 Greenbelt Commission continues its preventative work in Walker Valley, which is in the 108 Mile Ranch area, to reduce the risk of a wildfire affecting the community. This year’s fuel management work is focused on selectively thinning the trees in two small areas on the west side of the railway track through logging.

“I’m happy to say that the 108 Greenbelt Commission’s fuel management work west of the railway tracks has been strongly encouraged and supported by the BC Wildfire Service,” says CRD's Electoral Area G Director Al Richmond. “It is also really encouraging that our neighbours to the west and north of 108 Mile Ranch have also started fuel management programs on the land they own or manage. When all this work is completed, the BC Wildfire Service has said this wide fuel break will significantly reduce the risk of a serious interface wildfire in the area.”

This year’s thinning work is similar to the work done in Walker Valley last winter. The attached map outlines the areas impacted, with the current work taking place in the two green-shaded triangles across from the Kallum loop and Gloinnzun Crescent.

Most of the logging in those areas has been completed with one small four-hectare area remaining in the northern green triangle on the map. This area requires heli-logging operations, since it has a very steep slope and mechanical harvesting is not possible. Heli-logging will begin early in March and will continue for one to two weeks in early March, depending on the weather.

The 108 Greenbelt Commission has contracted Sarver Wood Fibre, also known as Sarvair, a helicopter logging company based in 108 Mile Ranch, to conduct the work. They will hand thin the steep slope and lift the logs and deadfall to a nearby landing for processing.

Please remember drones and model aircraft are not permitted within three kilometres of the area where the helicopter is working.

The Commission expects all the work in these areas, including creating brush piles, to be complete by early April. Further, burning the debris piles from the 2017-2018 winter fuel management program in Walker Valley is nearly complete and seeding will begin in the spring.

This spring, the Greenbelt Commission is also hiring a contractor to review the greenbelt pockets inside 108 Mile Ranch. While fire mitigation efforts were completed in these areas over the last decade, more work is now needed, especially in areas with recent infestations of fir bark beetles. Recommendations coming out of this study and planned actions will be shared with residents as soon as possible.

The 108 Greenbelt Service was established by the Cariboo Regional District in 1996 to provide for the management of the 108 Greenbelt lands and provide opportunities for public recreation. The 108 Greenbelt lands cover approximately 575 hectares throughout the 108 Mile Ranch community. The property is held under title by the CRD and managed by the 108 Greenbelt Commission whose members are appointed by the Board on recommendation of the Electoral Area G Director.

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