If weather conditions are right this week, crews from B.C.’s Wildfire Management Branch will conduct two low-intensity, prescribed burns for the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program.
One prescribed burn being conducted for ecosystem restoration purposes will occur on Bare Mountain and is located seven kilometres south of the Kikomun-Koocanusa bridge on the east side of Koocanusa reservoir. The area is proposed as two separate burns for a total of 241 hectares.
The other prescribed burn being conducted for ecosystem restoration purposes will occur on Artesian Pasture and is located just south of McGinty Lake near Meadowbrook. The proposed burn area is 387 hectares.
Historically, the forest in the Rocky Mountain Trench was renewed through frequent, low-intensity ground fires. Such fires removed the shrubby understory and created a relatively open forest with large, healthy trees. The exclusion of fire from the landscape over recent decades has increased the fuels that contribute to the risk of more intense and damaging fires, and reduced the amount of open grasslands in the Rocky Mountain Trench. Combined with other factors, the resulting forest ingrowth has caused an overall deterioration in wildlife habitat, cattle forage and forest values.
Crews are waiting for a ‘burn window’—when temperature, humidity and wind conspire to create safe and effective conditions.
Every effort is made to ensure smoke levels are tolerable, burns are safe and the treatment is effective.
For more information on these prescribed burns, please visit trench-er.com.