Wildfire risk reduction focus of upcoming open house at 150 Mile

The Ministry of Forests will give an update on activities

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will host a community open house and information meeting about the second phase of ongoing wildfire risk reduction activities in the Borland Valley, about four kilometres east of 150 Mile House.

The meeting will be held at the 150 Mile House firehall at 3038 Pigeon Rd. on May 31, 2018, starting at 7 p.m. and everyone is welcome to attend.

At the meeting, there will be an overview of the Borland Valley Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Habitat Enhancement Project, and details about wildfire risk reduction activities planned for the area over the next few years.

The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. has contributed $1 million toward this project.

This Crown agency’s work is focused on wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, forest rehabilitation, wildlife habitat restoration and raising awareness of the FireSmart program in British Columbia.

Read More: Forest resiliency focus moving forward

Staff from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will host the meeting and answer questions about the Borland Valley project. They will also be able to offer advice on using FireSmart principles to reduce wildfire threats on private property.

Second-phase activities

The first phase of the Borland Valley Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Habitat Enhancement Project began in 2016. The second phase is scheduled to begin in September 2018.

The project will demonstrate multiple treatment methods within a 340-hectare area, with each one intended to help other land managers in the region decide which types of treatments would be most appropriate for their communities.

Treatments are scheduled for four areas covering about 78 hectares between Pigeon Road and Borland Creek — roughly from Heinie Place to Brouse Road — two areas covering about 153 hectares between Borland Creek and Redeau Lake Road at 2300 Road and four areas covering about 105 hectares south of Redeau Lake Road at 2300 Road.

The treatments will create fuel breaks to help reduce wildfire threats to residential properties, enhance the long-term health of tree stands and improve habitat for wild animals, such as mule deer.

Activities may include removal of hazard trees while leaving behind some wildlife trees, thinning of timber stands, removal of surface fuels such as woody debris, removal of flammable shrubs such as common juniper and pruning of tree branches up to three metres above the ground which could allow flames to spread into the tree canopy.

Debris and timber will be disposed of through milling, chipping or pile burning. Making use of the resulting wood fibre is a top priority for this project, so burning will only occur if necessary. Any such fires would be closely monitored by trained firefighters.

The planned treatments will have no negative impact on community trail networks.

Other important factors, such as recreational use, riparian areas and cultural values are being incorporated into all aspects of this project.

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