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BC Wildfire Service plans burning of wood piles in Slocan Valley

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
June 11th, 2018

Residents in the Slocan Valley should not be alarmed if flames are seen in the mountains as the BC Wildfire Service is planning to burn about 25 piles of wood debris in the Slocan Valley, about three kilometres south of Silverton.

BC Wildfire Service said in a media release the controlled burns could start as early as Monday, June 11, 2018.

“Smoke and flames may be visible from Silverton, Highway 6 and surrounding communities,” the BC Wildfire Service release said. “Trained BC Wildfire Service personnel will be on site with firefighting equipment, to monitor and control these burns at all times.”

BC Wildfire Service said activities, such as pile burning, help reduce wildfire hazards by reducing accumulations of fuels (e.g. dead wood or brush) on the landscape. This pile burning project will only proceed if weather conditions are suitable for quick smoke dissipation. All such burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation, to help minimize the amount of smoke generated.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

FACTSHEET: Prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration burns

  • Fire is a normal, natural process in many of British Columbia’s ecosystems. Many species of plants, birds, insects and other animals depend on fire for its regenerative properties.
  • Fire helps control insects and the spread of disease in forests. It also contributes to forest regeneration, as younger trees replace older trees. Having trees of various ages in a forest helps create biodiversity.
  • Prescribed burning is one of the tools used by forest professionals to achieve land management objectives. For example, fire can be used to enhance habitat and improve forage for cattle, deer, bighorn sheep and moose.
  • A controlled burn also can reduce fuel loads (combustible material such as underbrush and dead wood) and reduce the risk of wildfire in interface areas (where urban development borders on rural areas).
  • The size and intensity of prescribed burns are carefully planned and controlled to meet management objectives for fire-maintained ecosystems. Prescribed burns are only ignited when weather conditions are favourable and when the fire will not create excessive smoke.
  • Important factors that are used to determine the date of a burn include the venting forecast, temperature, humidity and wind conditions.
  • The venting forecast is a measure of how quickly smoke will disperse under specific conditions. Prescribed fires may only be ignited on days when the venting forecast is “good”.
  • All prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. This helps minimize the amount of smoke generated.
  • A prescribed burn is ignited and continuously monitored by trained firefighting crews to ensure that the fire does not get out of control.
  • The “burn boss” is responsible for ensuring that the initial burn conditions are favourable and that the fire is extinguished once the prescribed burn is completed.

 

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