Fuel management part of prevention

Colin Swan of B.C. Wildfire Management explains the need for fuel management and the steps crews are taking to reduce the risks of a major wildfire near homes in the Agate Bay Drive area south of Barriere.

KAMLOOPS – A fuel management project south of Barriere is underway as crews prune and remove trees to help reduce the amount of fuels available to a potential wildfire.

The Wildfire Management Branch, in partnership with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, have completed the pruning of a 5.8 hectare area southeast of Barriere just off of Agate Bay Road. The burning of the remaining debris piles will take place in the fall when venting and weather conditions permit.

Power saws, pole saws and pruners were all used in the process, which removed 'ladder' fuel. By removing the lower 60 per cent of branches the trees will still be viable and will keep any fires low to the ground where ground crews can effectively attack them. Deciduous trees are considered fire resistant and crews try to keep any in the area intact.

“We're making it safer for the public, making it safer for our responders and at the same time we're balancing our needs for biodiversity.” Crew member Colin Swan says.

The Agate Bay Road site is one of 13 active projects in the district and was recognized as a high threat because of historical fires in the area, including a substantial one 10 years ago. The intention of this particular site is to reduce the risk of a fire spreading to homes along Agate Bay Road and the Glen Grove Estates area.

As part of the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative developed in 2004, attempts are being made to reduce the risk of interface wildfires where urban development borders forests and grasslands. Since 2004 more than 250 protection plans have been completed with another 50 in progress.

To contact a reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews., call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

Removing the lower branches helps keep wildfires on the ground, where crews can attack them more easily.
Removing the lower branches helps keep wildfires on the ground, where crews can attack them more easily.

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