Fire prevention program logs 75% of forested area above Peachland - InfoNews

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Fire prevention program logs 75% of forested area above Peachland

Thinning the forest of trees helps mitigate wildfires.
Image Credit: Forest Enhancement Society of B.C.
June 20, 2019 - 3:30 PM

PEACHLAND - A forested area above Peachland was recently thinned by around 75 per cent in an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires.

According to a media release from Forest Enhancement Society of B.C, the Syilx Territory and the Thompson-Okanagan Region, fires have historically maintained the ecosystem of the region. Since active fire suppression tactics were introduced vegetation ingrowth has led to extreme fuel loading throughout the region causing longer, more intense, and more destructive wildfires and a less resilient forest ecosystem.

In an effort to mitigate wildfires the First Nations Penticton Indian Band, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Gorman Brothers, the provincial government, and FESBC have joined together to work on sites outside of Peachland. 

The project focused on thinning the forest to create a more natural semi-open state. Around 350 trees per hectare were reduced to 75 per hectare and 2,400 cubic metres of pulp fibre was recovered from the forest.  The initiative created 7,000 cubic metres of merchantable timber.

"We believe that a more resilient forest ecosystem supports sustainable cultural, ecological, and social values, decreases threats to communities and infrastructure, and provides more natural resources including timber supply. This project successfully combined timber harvesting with cultural-ecological restoration objectives," FESBC operations manager Dave Conly said in the release.

According to the release thinning the area restores the forest ecosystem functions associated with low-intensity fire, and also contributes to a fuel break to protect Summerland, Peachland, and rural development from the risk of wildfire.

The project is a model of what is accomplished when forestry professionals, indigenous peoples, and stakeholders come together to protect and enhance the land says the release.

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