Current Conditions

Light Rainshower

Prescribed burn in Kenna Cartwright Park starts today

March 14, 2016 - 10:00 AM

KAMLOOPS - The City of Kamloops is partnering with the BC Wildfire Service, Kamloops Fire Rescue and a local contractor, who will act as burn boss, to perform a prescribed burn in Kenna Cartwright Nature Park this spring.

Starting today, March 14, the BC Wildfire Service will have a crew in the park doing site preparation work, which will include slashing and piling of debris, clearing areas around wildlife trees so that they are preserved, and ensuring that existing trails and roads are cleared and will act as fire boundaries.

A "black line" will be put in along the eastern boundary where there are no existing roads or natural fire guards. A black line consists of a controlled burn strip that prevents fire from spreading, since there are no longer fuels available in that area. Once the site preparation is finished, BC Wildfire Service staff and the burn boss will monitor the weather, venting index and site conditions, and will indicate when burning should occur.

Generally, there is about two days' notice before the burn begins, so park users and residents will have advance notice. Based on current conditions, the City hope to do the burn in March 2016. Signage will be put up at all the Kenna Cartwright Nature Park entrances explaining what a prescribed burn is and showing a map of the burn area. Park users are asked to stay out of the burn area for their safety, as well as the safety of crews working in the area.

Reasons for the prescribed burn:

Forest health - wildfires typically occur in the Ponderosa Pine biogeoclimatic zone as often as every 15 to 25 years. Because of their frequency, fires have played an important role in the ecology of this zone. Mature ponderosa pine trees have a thick bark and a self-pruning habit that prevents most fires from spreading upward to the crown. However, as fires speed through the understory, they burn off grasses and new growth, leaving behind a relatively bare forest floor and restricting regeneration of new trees. Historically, this pattern resulted in a mosaic of grasslands and open stands of pine. Currently there are many dense clumps of trees leading to increased risk of disease and insect predation, as well as a general decrease in tree health due to competition for water, nutrients and light. By opening up the stands, it will allow the trees to follow a more natural cycle of growth.

Community Wildfire Protection - In the mid-2000s the pine beetle epidemic went through the park killing approximately 90% of the pines. These have since fallen resulting in an increased amount of fuel loading in certain areas of the park. In recent times, as a result of fire suppression, dense stands of pines have replaced some of the more open stands, as well as some grasslands. These dense stands contain "ladder" fuels that will result in hotter and more abundant crown fires in the future. Because there is much housing in the Ponderosa Pine Zone, many private residences are at risk from wildfires or fires caused by humans. By going in and performing a prescribed burn, we can reduce the fuel loading and ladder fuels, thus greatly reducing the potential for urban interface fires.

Noxious weed concerns - Over the last few years, we have used various methods to control the noxious weeds in the park. These include hand pulling, goats, and some spraying. Fire is another effective way of helping to control these weeds especially in conjunction with the other methods. We currently have plots within the burn area that we have been monitoring for the effectiveness of the goats, so we will continue to use these for the prescribed burn as well.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
  • Routine stop in Kamloops turns into yelling match on Halston Avenue
    KAMLOOPS - What should have been a straightforward impaired driving check became tense yesterday as people in two cars yelled at each other about who had guns in their cars, police say. Arou
  • RCMP confirm death of Vernon man was a homicide
    VERNON - What was first described as a suspicious death in Vernon is now being called a homicide by RCMP. Police are officially releasing the identity of a man found dead last Thursday, Mar
  • Kamloops RCMP bust drug dealer
    KAMLOOPS – Police in Kamloops have arrested a Falkland man for drug trafficking following an investigation two weeks ago. RCMP say members of the Street Level Drug Unit conducted an in
  • UPDATE: Man police sought identified
    KAMLOOPS - Kamloops RCMP have spoken with a man they were looking for in connection to a case of false identity. After an RCMP media release this morning, March 29, asking the public for tip
  • First solar road in Canada coming to Kamloops this summer
    KAMLOOPS - The first solar road in Canada will be built this summer at the Thompson Rivers University campus in Kamloops. The Solar Compass Project is due to be installed in June, a year lat
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile