A prescribed burn held in Williams Lake on Wednesday, April 6 between Country Club Boulevard and Westridge to help reduce the threat of wildfire to the community was a success.
The City of Williams Lake would like to express its appreciation for a safe and effective operation to BC Wildfire Service, Ecosystem Restoration (Range Branch) of the Ministry of Forests, the Williams Lake Fire Department (WLFD) and Williams Lake First Nation for their dedication to carrying out the prescribed burn. This is another step in making our community safer.
The wildfire fuel treatment activity covered approximately 20 hectares of Crown land with the intention of removing accumulated grass fuels that would burn very rapidly and with high intensity in the event of a summer wildfire. The work also served to reduce the encroachment of tress onto the grassland.
Patrol and mop-up operations by the BC Wildfire Service took place today (Thursday, April 7) and will continue on Friday, April 8. Over the coming days there may be small amounts of noticeable smoke throughout the site. The WLFD will continue to coordinate with the BC Wildfire Service to monitor the area and will action any areas requiring attention.
“From a fire protection standpoint, the Williams Lake Fire Department has the safety of the community as its top priority and steps such as this prescribed burn serve to not only provide healthy fire breaks and protect our community, but also strengthen interagency coordination within our region,” said Evan Dean, Acting WLFD Fire Prevention/Training Officer.
Ken Day, MF, RPF, of KDay Forestry Ltd. and liaison officer for the project, also noted the success of the prescribed burn.
“Conifers like Douglas fir and especially juniper burn rapidly and provide a challenge to firefighters by spreading embers [during a wildfire],” Day said. “In hot, dry weather those embers can travel long distances and ignite fires on or near homes. In the present cool weather fewer embers are generated, they travel much shorter distances, and they have very little receptive fuel bed to land on.”
Day explained over time, conifers growing in the grassland change the grassland into a forest.
“Using controlled fire has removed many of the trees we would otherwise have to cut and pile to achieve our grassland restoration objectives on this project,” he said.
Property owners are encouraged to take proactive FireSmart actions on their properties to reduce flammable fuels. To find out more, visit www.firesmartbc.ca. You can also request a FireSmart Assessment at email@example.com.
For more information on grassland restoration visit www.williamslake.ca/992/FireSmart-News-and-Events or, if you have questions about prescribed fires, contact Evan Dean, Acting Williams Lake Fire Department Fire Prevention/Training Officer, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 250-392-4321. For technical inquiries contact Ken Day with KDay Forestry Ltd. by calling 250-267-2474 or email email@example.com.
Evan Dean, Acting Fire Prevention/Training Officer
City Hall: 250.392.2311