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Burning and cutting begins in Art Gibbon Park

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
February 22nd, 2011

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

Fuel mitigation work has commenced in Rosemont’s Art Gibbon Park as of Monday, said the Nelson Fire Rescue’s deputy chief.

Bob Slade said the fuel mitigation includes burning in the park.

“The park may have to be closed to the general public during this time period,” he said.

However, any closures will be short term.

“These closures are in the best interest of all concerned to ensure the work can be completed in a safe, timely manner,” he said.

Notices had been sent out to the Rosemont residences nearest the park last fall, and a public meeting held during that time had no attendees.

As well, a scheduled meeting at the Nelson Cemetery in the fall for a look at the expected clean up and burning of forest debris — by Nelson Fire Rescue and a City contractor  — did not attract any curious Nelsonites either.

In 2006 Rosemont residents rose up against the chainsaws that were leveled at some of the dead and dying trees contained in the park. The contention at the time was there was no public notice given of the planned fuel mitigation.

The prescription

This time around, the contractor will be taking down suspect trees and the fire department will be burning the debris in order to remove the fire risk it poses.

The action is part of the fuel mitigation prescription developed in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan adopted by city council in 2008.

Around $19,000 was received from the Union of BC Municipalities at the time to fund the development of the prescription, with another $60,000 from the provincial Community Public Works.

The meat of the prescription

The forests in the city are full of diseased, dead and dying wood and they need to be removed, but no healthy trees will be removed.

Removing the dead trees will not only clear up a fire risk, fire chief Simon Grypma said, but it will retain biodiversity.

The removal process will also clean up the woody debris on the forest floor to eliminate the chance a quickly spreading fire would move from the ground to the canopy — giving firefighters a better chance to contain and extinguish a fire.

Fuel reduction has also taken place in Pipeline and South Pipeline Trail, Mount St. Francis properties, Anderson Community Watershed, LV Rogers High School and the Five Mile intake.


People who have any questions or concerns about the closure are asked to contact City of Nelson fire chief Simon Grypma at 352-3103.


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