Fireguard rehabilitation a big, ongoing task

Editor:

The article “Fire aftermath at Skatchola site”, published on July 10, 2019 referenced the 2018 fireguards on the Southside that are still evident on the landscape, and suggests that government’s response has been lacking to date.

District staff continue to work closely with area forest licensees and First Nations to salvage decked timber from guards, as guard rehabilitation cannot be done until decked wood has been removed. The magnitude of timber volume to be managed, mill yard capacity, recent milling curtailments, and both seasonal and unique weather conditions have affected timelines for machine work to start work on the fire guards.

Nevertheless, all parties continue to work diligently to utilize the timber resource while providing interim environmental stability, and the ministry recognizes the efforts of licensees to date. Fire guard rehabilitation will begin at the earliest opportunity while managing these above factors.

As the province’s land manager, the ministry must consider multiple interests and values on the land base. In today’s complex environment, this takes time, alignment of resources, and the collaboration of parties working together to achieve the common interest of fire guard rehabilitation to which our ministry is committed. We look forward to continuing our work forward with residents in the local area and across the Skeena Region.

Jim D’Andrea

Resource Manager

Skeena Region Wildfire Suppression Rehabilitation

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