Smoke over Vanderhoof is from prescribed burns being undertaken by BC Wildfire Service as part of their Fuel Management project. (Aman Parhar photo)

Prescribed burns being done around Vanderhoof and Fort St. James

The smoke visible towards the north of town is from prescribed burns and is not of concern.

David Van Dolah from the Ministry of Forests department in Vanderhoof said the burns are part of a fuel management project.

“It’s stemming from the work that was done over the past couple of years after the effects of wildfires that occurred and some of the recommendations that came out to identify wild land urban interface area and areas that could be high risk to the public within these areas,” Van Dolah said.

BC Wildfire Service has identified these projects and are mitigating the levels of forest fuels that are around the area to help reduce the potential fuel hazard that is out there in the future, he added.

There were controlled prescribed burns being done out on Striegler Pit Road today. And Van Dolah said BC Wildfire Service is on the scene making sure that there is very little “outside the project” impact.

Apart from the prescribed burns being done by BC Wildfire Service, other controlled fires in the area and around Fort St. James in the coming month will be undertaken by major licensees or anyone who holds tenure and has done logging under regulation.

Licensees will be burning piles to meet requirements of the Wildfire Act, he said, noting licensees have to reduce fire hazard in those areas over a three-year period.

A lot of the licensees will be choosing days where the ability for forest fuels to go outside a pile is low, Van Dolah said.

“So if we have big fires like we had in Fraser Lake in 2018, then these surface fuels that are existing in and around the valley are mitigated so we don’t have the same level of impact if another fire comes through,” he added.

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

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