Logging ban recommended due to safety concerns for those impacted by Shuswap wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Partly Cloudy  6.0°C

Penticton News

Logging ban recommended due to safety concerns for those impacted by Shuswap wildfire

The wildfire burning to the south of Sicamous, July 21, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Shuswap Lake Watch

The Two Mile Road wildfire last summer left the Sicamous and Wiseman Creek watersheds at a high risk of landslides, and for that reason a logging company should not conduct salvage logging of the burnt timber.

B.C. Timber Sales made the proposal but did not get the support of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District during its regular board meeting, Feb. 17, according to a release from the regional district.

Directors made the unanimous decision to recommend a temporary logging ban to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in affected areas until 2024. By then, the re-growth of vegetation will have hopefully stabilized the slopes and reduced the geohazard risk level, according to the district's press release. Timber Sales will be getting a letter about the board's new recommendation.

READ MORE: 'Still not out of the woods,' Sicamous mayor recounts experience with wildfire

The regional district hired BGC Engineering to study possible impacts of logging in the area before making the decision. The same engineering firm has also studied other areas nearby that were struck by wildfire, and predicts a high likelihood of a heavy debris in the Wiseman Creek watershed over the next two years.

The regional district calls the situation “particularly alarming” as the safety of those living at the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park, as well as the protection of their property, is under threat, according to the press release.

The Shuswap Emergency Program and the District of Sicamous have been making those residents aware of the threat and what options are available to stay safe.

READ MORE: Sicamous Creek gorge holding wildfire near Shuswap community at bay

In making the decision to recommend a logging ban, the board vote agreed with the recommendations of BCG Engineering. BGC Engineering has also conducted previous post-wildfire studies in the area that point to a high likelihood of a debris flow or debris flood in the Wiseman Creek watershed in the next two years.

BGC Engineering recommended two solutions.

Upper watershed of Wiseman Creek burned to a high severity as shown in October 2021.
Upper watershed of Wiseman Creek burned to a high severity as shown in October 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/BGC Engineering

One was to postpone salvage logging until 2024 and then reassess. The other is to use best industry practices when salvage logging.

A request has also been made for the District of Sicamous to provide a referral to B.C. Timber Sales on the proposed logging. Council will discuss doing so at the next regular meeting on Feb 23.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2022

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile