In the month of April this year (weather permitting) SIFCo plan to carry out a prescribed burn in the Lower Winlaw Creek area.
As planned, SIFCo carried out an initial ecosystem restoration treatment in the Community Forest in lower Winlaw Creek in 2017 (see map below). The boundaries of the treated area were determined in consultation with the BC Wildfire Service.
The goal of the ecosystem restoration work is to improve the ecological health and resiliency of the open forests on the site. This area is a Community Forest eco-reserve, and has been defined by SIFCo as an area that will not be logged in the future.
The area is a steep south west facing slope with hot and dry growing conditions, and is susceptible to wildfires. In the past, frequent low intensity fires maintained an open forest of large trees with grass and shrubs in this area. The low intensity fires reduced fuel loads and generally did not harm the large trees.
However, decades of fire suppression have allowed dense patches of highly flammable small trees to grow on the site. These additional fuels will increase fire intensity and fire impacts, especially in the summer months.
The ecosystem restoration work that SIFCo completed in 2017 reduced the small tree density and fuel accumulations in strategic locations. This improved the ecological health and resiliency of the site, and prepared it for a prescribed burn.
SIFCo is working with the BC Wildfire Service to plan and carry out a low intensity prescribed burn in the treated area in spring 2018. The burn will improve ecological resiliency, wildlife habitat and forage values. Community safety will be improved as wildfires in the treated area will burn with less intensity and be less likely to transition to large scale fires.
We will be hosting a public meeting at Winlaw Hall on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:00 pm to provide more information on prescribed burn plans and protocols and also to provide an opportunity for discussion. Jonathan Fox, Fire Protection Technician for the Arrow Fire Zone, will also be in attendance.
You can also contact Tom (Forestry supervisor) at 250-226-7012 or via email at email@example.com.