The Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF) hosted their annual open house and barbeque last week.
On July 22, the community forest (comfor) held an information session around the activities they have done in the past year and the ones they are doing.
Colleen Piper, the executive assistant with BLCF said that it was an “amazing turnout” and roughly 400 people attended the open house over four hours.
The open house had several activities this year. The organization covered their road access management plan, visual quality assessments, hazard abatements, small prescribed burn done in the Spring and next winters logging blocks at their information booth. There also was a NEW LlamaZOO 3D Virtual Reality representation of the Community Forest where community members who chose to, could walk through the community forest virtually.
A representative from Ponsee demonstrated the Ponsee simulator, the system which was purchased by Comfor a couple of years back, which contains a large screen, software and controls which, when manipulated, provide a person with a real-time response played out on the screen.
This year, unlike last year’s open house, vendors were also present at the open house. There was the Fire Smart Information booth from the regional district, the ice cream booth from the Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce, lemonade provided by the Fall Fair Association, and popcorn and cotton candy provided by the Beacon Theatre.
A cheque presentation for the organizations that BL comfor has sponsored to date, also took place. To date, the organization has sponsored Beacon Theatre with $101,233, Fall Fair Association $102,000, Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society with $582,800, Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association ‘Ride Burns – Burns Lake’ with $216,326, Lakes District Family Enhancement Society – ‘The Link’ with $123,000.
“BLCF could not have been more pleased with the turn out and (it was) wonderful to see the community socializing again,” wrote Piper, in an email to Lakes District News.
She also said that the Burns Lake comfor is urging the public to take every precaution this summer. “Even with the recent wet weather, it does not take long for the fire danger to go back to extreme. Be careful while camping and enjoying the outdoors and ensure you abide by the campfire ban in place. In addition to this, please do not discard live cigarettes out your windows as these have the potential to start a fire.”
The community forest had initially planned to conduct prescribed burns this summer however, with the heat wave, lightning and the wildfire danger, they will no longer be doing their burns this summer.
At this time the Comfor is still hoping to do the prescribed burns, this fall and said those will hopefully take place in late September, when the fire danger rating is low and the conditions are right .
“There are several conditions that must be present before the burns occur and we are continuing to work closely with the local British Columbia Wildfire Service Office as well as the prescribed burn consultant Shifting Mosaics Consulting; as in the end, they will have the final say on when and if the prescribed fires will occur,” wrote Piper.
The community forests final message for the event and otherwise is to “remember every fire starts with a spark take care not to be the source of that spark.”