March 02, 2015 - 11:15 AM
KAMLOOPS - Expect to see smoke in the air later this month as the city works to protect our large urban nature park from a potentially catastrophic fire.
The City of Kamloops is working with B.C. Wildfire performing a prescribed burn in Kenna Cartwright Park with the hope of completing it this month. Starting later this week slash piles will be created and areas around wildlife habitat trees will be cleared so they are preserved.
The burn will consist of a controlled burn strip to prevent fires from spreading and will create a fire guard along the eastern boundary where no roads or natural fire guards exist.
Kirsten Wourms, with the city parks department, says signs will be posted at all main entrances later today, March 2, and crews will begin work later this week.
“There are 14 different treatment areas, but we’ll only burn two or three at a time,” Wourms notes, adding they will work up the Tower Trail and mostly in the grassy areas.
Once site preparation is completed the burn will take place as weather, venting and site conditions allow. About two days notice will be given before a burn begins and park users are asked to stay out of the burn area while crews are working. The hope is to complete the burn in March.
A controlled burn has never taken place at the park and Wourms says there is a lot of fuel sitting there, especially since all the trees killed by pine beetles were left standing so Thompson Rivers University could do research on the dead trees.
Wourms notes the prescribed burn will help maintain the forest health, protect the community from a potentially large wildfire and help control noxious weeds in the area.
The window for controlled burns is small so the city will focus on Kenna Cartwright this spring and continue work in the Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park area. They will look at the possible need for a controlled burn in the Rose Hill Park area as well.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015