Prescribed burns to restore Cariboo-Chilcotin grassland

A series of prescribed burns are planned for west of Williams Lake until April 30, 2016, weather conditions permitting.

  • Mar. 21, 2016 5:00 p.m.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is planning to conduct a series of prescribed burns west of Williams Lake until April 30, 2016, weather conditions permitting.

The following areas will be treated to help restore natural grassland ecosystems:

Doc English (Becher Prairie): About 230 hectares south of Highway 20, on both sides of Cotton Road.

Bald Mountain: About 100 hectares east of the Farwell Canyon road, at the six-kilometre mark.

Farwell Canyon: About 50 hectares on the Farwell Canyon road, from the 28-kilometre mark to the 29-kilometre mark.

Each fire will be carefully monitored at all times by trained BC Wildfire Service personnel.

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 open grasslands and forests with large trees.

The reintroduction of managed, low-intensity ground fires to these grasslands is intended to restore and maintain the grassland plant communities that are native to these areas. This ecosystem restoration work also will improve habitat and forage opportunities for grassland-dependent plants and animals and decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

These controlled burn projects are part of an ongoing ecosystem restoration program administered by the provincial government through the Cariboo-Chilcotin Ecosystem Restoration Committee.

The committee was formed in 2008 to support ecosystem restoration in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and includes representatives from the provincial and federal governments, local First Nations, the BC Cattlemen’s Association, forestry professionals and conservation groups.