There have been a few close calls between logging trucks and snowmobiles or ATVs in the area where Douglas-fir bark beetle harvesting is underway west of Williams Lake in the Flat Rock Block, said Williams Lake Community Forest manager Ken Day.
“My main concern is the area off Birch Lane Road where we have had most of the run-ins,” Day said. “People could come around the corner and find logging trucks, pickup trucks and skidders working in the forest.”
Potentially the work is going on seven days a week from dark to dark, he added.
The work got underway just after Christmas and is expected to continue all through the winter until they cannot haul logs anymore.
“We are not moving at a fast pace, in terms of our speed on the road or the number of machines operating, but we are out there and have had two close calls so far,” Day said.
“I understand our logging trucks had a close call as well. And in each case it has been someone on a quad or a snowmobile and they are driving on the road like it’s a plowed trail, but it is in fact an active logging road.”
The roads have not been active in recent years, but there is signage to warn people there is active logging going on, Day said.
“In the end, the worst thing that could happen is that someone is seriously hurt or killed.”
Day said they are hoping to harvest 15,000 cubic metres or the equivalent of 300 log hauling truck loads.
The Flat Rock Block measures 5,927 hectares, and is one of two areas allotted to the WLCF.
It spans from the west side of Highway 20 to the Williams Lake River Valley and from Esler to the Fraser River.