A prescribed burn out at the Canadian Rockies International Airport north of Cranbrook may occur as soon as Wed. April 26, weather permitting, as smoke will be highly visible in the surrounding area.
The project will include treating up to 79 hectares east and south of the airport lands, which is aimed at controlling fuel loads and limiting conifer regeneration, provided weather conditions remain favourable.
The prescribed burn is part of a larger coordinated effort to protect communities and infrastructure with the City of Cranbrook’s partners and neighbors in ʔaq’am, Kimberley, the BC Wildfire Service, Ministry of Forests staff and local industry.
Key goals of the project include reducing accumulations of dead wood and other combustible material, as well as promoting ecological biodiversity by suppressing the growth of regenerating trees and mitigating wildfire severity.
The planned burn is a continuation of a 22-hectare parcel at the road entrance to the airport that was razed by fire at this time last year. This year’s burn will help create a holding line to protect the airport ahead of a more extensive burn being done by ʔaq’am this weekend, again weather permitting.
Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services will be participating in this prescribed burn in a support role.
Fire is a very normal and natural process in Rocky Mountain Trench ecosystem, and it is the city’s intention to return this landscape to a healthy, fire-resistive state.