The Yunesit'in Government in partnership with the BC Wildfire Service will be conducting a prescribed burn seven kilometres west of the community and 25 kilometres south of Alexis Creek on the south side of the Chilcotin River. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Prescribed burning planned to reduce wildfire risk near Yunesit’in

Burning may begin as early as April 13 in partnership with BC Wildfire Service

Prescribed burning is planned near Yunesit’in First Nation in the Chilcotin as early as Tuesday, April 13.

The Yunesit’in Government is partnering with the BC Wildfire Service to burn about 88 hectares approximately seven kilometres west of the community and 25 kilometres south of Alexis Creek on the south side of the Chilcotin River.

“Ignitions will proceed only if conditions are suitable to allow for quick smoke dissipation and low to moderate fire intensity,” the BC Wildfire noted in a news release.

Aims of the burning are to mitigate wildfire risks to community, reduced intensity of future wildfires, restore the open forest structure through the removal of encroaching trees and shrubs, promote the growth of native plant species and improve habitat and forage opportunities for wildlife.

On Tuesday, April 6, BC Wildfire crews attended three grass fires started near Alexis Creek that were .3, .009 and 5.4 hectares in size.

Read more: B.C.’s wildfire season begins with two suspected human-caused wildfires in the interior

Cariboo Fire Centre fire information officer Jessica Mack confirmed all of the fires are still under investigation but are suspected to be human-caused.

Mack said when BC Wildfire Service crews are not responding to fires they have been taking courses, practising first aid and fire scenarios, developing chainsaw skills, ensuring all gear is prepared for the fire season and working on fuel management projects such as the one near Yunesit’in.

Around the Cariboo Fire Centre, crews have been using saws to reduce fuel loads such as combustible material such as branches, dead wood, and underbrush, piling fuels, and lighting piles.

There are a number of these projects occurring within the Cariboo Fire Centre, Mack said.

Within the 100 Mile Zone, staff are working on treatment areas near Boyd Bay, which is near south Green Lake, and another near 99 Mile.

Within the Quesnel Zone, staff are working on treatment areas near Fishpot Lake, which is near Nazko and another by Marsh Road in Quesnel.

Within the Central Cariboo Zone, staff are working on treatment areas near Quesnel Lake and soon they will be working on a project near the Williams Lake Airport.

The Chilcotin Zone has been working on treatment areas near weather stations in the Chilcotin.

Mack said the spring season is the perfect time to start and continue applying FireSmart principles to help mitigate the wildfire risks around homes and properties.

To learn more about FireSmart the public is encouraged to visit the website

Read more: B.C. Wildfire Service teams up with Tsilhqot’in National Government for firefighter bootcamp

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