WILDLAND URBAN INTERFACE
TO VIEW OUR LANDSCAPE LEVEL STRATEGIC WILDFIRE PROTECTION PLAN CLICK HERE
TO VIEW THE 5 DIFFERENT TREATMENT TYPES INCLUDED IN THE ABOVE PLAN CLICK HERE
Since SIFCo began its mission to make our community safer by investing in Wildland-Urban Interface management, a total of over 4.5 million dollars have been invested and close to 935 hectares of land have been treated in the Slocan Valley. We hope to expand and carry on this work in the years to come.
In 2021 SIFCo worked with the three Villages and FESBC again to continue implementing our Slocan Valley Strategic Landscape Level WIldfire Protection Plan, the first of it's kind in BC.
SIFCo manages CFA K2R with climate change adaptation and wildfire preparedness in mind, and has been involved in planning and carrying out fuel management treatments on and adjacent to the CFA since 2009.
To date, we have completed over 900 ha of fuel management treatments, representing an investment of approximately $4 million.
Our goal is to complete a set of 12 landscape-scale fuel breaks located across main fire movement paths as outlined by our fire behaviour model.
The goals of the modeling research project were:
(a) to examine potential fire behaviour during typical hot, dry summers in the West Kootenay ecosystem, and
(b) to look for fire movement paths determined by terrain and fuel types within the landscape.
The modeling illustrated that the rate of spread and impact of fires under the typical summer Fire Danger Class 5 conditions were alarming and dangerous to public safety.
This information has helped increase community awareness of the fire risk level.
Fire movement paths in the landscape were also revealed, generally associated with air movement up east/west valleys and fuel-rich ecosystems on south-facing slopes. This information has informed our strategic planning process.
The Strategic Fuel Management Plan identifies locations where is it desirable and feasible to create a strategic fuel break, considering major fire path locations, vegetation and fuel types, terrain and slope, access (potential and existing), forestry staff local knowledge, and land ownership
Our Strategic Fuel Management Plan aligns with current thinking on forest management for ecosystem resiliency and climate change adaptation.
The following concepts are considered in our strategic planning:
1. Climate change will result in dramatic shifts in species composition and vegetation density within our CFA over the next 60 years.
2. Species currently at the edge of their ecological/climate niche (e.g. red cedar in much of the southern CFA) will no longer establish themselves and grow. Mature individual trees may, however, survive for many years.
3. Drought tolerant and fire resistant species with low current presence on much of the landbase (e.g. ponderosa pine) will become the most ecologically suitable species on many low elevation sites, and should be introduced as quickly as possible.
4. Current forest density in the ICH subzones will not be supportable under coming moisture and temperature regimes.
As temperatures rise and summer moisture inputs decrease, wildfires will more likely be catastrophic events that degrade soil and water resources and negatively impact forest structure, composition and function.
Implementating our Strategic Landscape Level Wildfire Protection Plan is a key element in building ecosystem resiliency.