Mitigating fire threats in the Lakes District

Province is developing a landscape fire management plan in the Burns Lake area.

he province is currently developing a landscape fire management plan in the Nadina Forest District, which includes the Burns Lake area.

The purpose of a fire management plan is to provide support to decision makers for integrated wildland fire response and resource management activities.

According to Greig Bethel, a Spokesperson with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, fire management plans at the landscape scale identify priority fuel management areas that will mitigate the fire threat to communities, as well critical infrastructure and natural resource values including timber supply. In addition, the plan outlines mitigation activities over time.

Bethel said fire management plans at the landscape scale are done in consultation with local governments, and they often include the establishment of shaded fuel breaks and thinned, open forested areas on Crown land near communities where the wildfire risk is high.

In order to develop these plans, government holds consultations with communities, First Nations and stakeholders to identify landscape fire management actions. The province will also form a local committee which will include First Nations, forest industry, community members, local wildfire management branch staff and the regional fire management specialist.

As of January 2016, three landscape fire management plans have been completed – in the Stuart Nechako portion of the Prince George timber supply area (TSA), the Merritt TSA and the Soo TSA.

Landscape fire management plans are also being developed in the Rocky Mountain Forest District and the forest districts within the Cariboo region – Quesnel, Cariboo Chilcotin and 100 Mile House.

According to Bethel, the landscape fire management plan in the Nadina Forest District will take approximately two years to be developed.