An ecosystem burn is planned for the old Kimberley airport area next week. BC Wildfire Service file.

An ecosystem burn is planned for the old Kimberley airport area next week. BC Wildfire Service file.

Burn planned for old Kimberley Airport area

Ecosystem burn could start Monday, October 5, 2020 depending on conditions

The B.C. Wildfire Service is taking advantage of good weather conditions to conduct controlled burns in the area.

In addition to a burn at Premier Lake the week of September 30, the service announced Friday that, with the support of the Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society, they plan to conduct a 350 hectare ecosystem restoration burn near the old Kimberley Airport, just off Hwy 95A, 18 kilometres east of Kimberley.

READ: Ecosystem restoration burn planned for Premier Lake area

As always, timing of the burn is dependent on conditions, but it could begin as early as Monday, October 5, 2020.

Smoke will be visible from Kimberley, Cranbrook and surrounding communities, and to motorists travelling along Highway 93 and Highway 95A.

Burning will proceed only if conditions are suitable and allow for a low-intensity to moderate-intensity fire. All prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. This helps minimize the amount of smoke generated.

Trained BC Wildfire Service personnel will monitor this fire at all times.

Key goals of this prescribed burn include:

• restore a more open forest structure by reducing tree density

• maintain wildlife ecosystems, including ungulate winter range

• rejuvenate understory vegetation (e.g. smaller plants growing under the tree canopy)

• reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires in the area

Fire is a normal and natural process in many of B.C.’s ecosystems. The BC Wildfire Service works regularly with land managers to undertake fuel management activities (including the use of prescribed burns), to help restore ecosystem dynamics and reduce the severity of future wildfires and related threats to communities.

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