PRESCRIBED BURNS PLANNED FOR THIS SPRING!

SIFCo, in partnership with the BC Wildfire Service, will be conducting prescribed burns in the Winlaw and Ponderosa areas this spring (weather permitting).

A prescribed burn is the controlled application of fire to the land to accomplish specific conservation and land management goals. The south faces of Winlaw and Ponderosa are ecosystem types that were historically maintained by fire. They contain species of plants and animals adapted to and dependent on fire.


Both of these areas are also part of SIFCo's landscape level wildfire mitigation plan for the Slocan Valley and are located within identified main fire movement corridors.


Prescribed fire is an effective means for managing these habitats and helping them return to a more resilient state suited to ongoing climate change and an increase in wildfire activity.

An ecosystem based burn prescription has been developed for both areas, and all necessary permits have been obtained to conduct the work. The burns will be conducted by the BC Wildfire Service utilizing a professionally trained burn crew to ensure safety and protection of surrounding resources.

Below is a video SIFCo produced when we carried out a previous prescribed burn in 2018 in the Winlaw area.


SIFCo scheduled a public meeting in Winlaw to share our plans in more details. Due to the Covid-19 situation this meeting was cancelled.


In Winlaw our plan is to carry out a 500 hectare low intensity prescribed burn on the dry, open, south facing slopes that start about 4 km upstream from downtown Winlaw.


In Ponderosa our plan is to carry out a 150 hectare low intensity burn in an old growth management area.


The locations are shown on the maps below.


WINLAW BURN AREA


PONDEROSA BURN AREA


The vegetation cover in these areas are a mix of open meadows, deciduous shrub fields, coniferous regeneration, and scattered large trees. These areas have been maintained as a mixed forest and shrub ecosystem for millennia by natural and planned burns.


Currently, the shrubs in the shrub patches are getting too large and too woody to be good spring browse for elk and deer, and the young conifers in the regeneration patches are getting too dense for very limited site water resources in the summer. Ecosystem health is declining, and fuel loads are increasing.


The winlaw area map above also shows the location of our 2018 prescribed burn in Winlaw. We encourage you to watch the above video to get an idea


Prescribed burns are important as they lead to a refreshed and healthier ecosystem. The picture below was taken in the heart of the 2018 Winlaw prescribed burn area, 3 months after the burn.


Climate change is resulting in dryer, hotter summers and longer fire seasons. Climate change is shifting the ecosystems on these sites further towards open forest and shrubs. These changes also lead to an increased likelihood of intense summer wildfires that would kill many of the large trees on the site.


Global events have Illustrated the impacts of wildfires in adverse fire weather and fuel buildup conditions. A prescribed burn in spring conditions is the opposite to an intense fire in summer conditions.


Please feel free to contact us at:


office@sifco.ca or 250-226-7012 for more information or discussion.


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