A prescribed burn takes place outside the Aqam community near Cranbrook in April 2018. Ian Adams photo.

Wildfire in the Rocky Mountain Trench: past, present and future

Presentation featuring a pair of experts will discuss regional fire history, mitigation strategies

Wildfires have been front and centre in the minds of British Columbians over the last few years, which recently experienced two of the worst fire seasons on record.

Internationally, the massive scale of wildfires in Australia this season has been at the forefront of the news.

With that in mind, the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program is inviting the public to a free presentation wildfire activity and mitigation tactics such as use of forest thinning, prescribed burns and other treatments.

The free presentation will be held at the Ktunaxa government building gymnasium on Tuesday, March 10, starting at 7 p.m.

It will identify FireSmart strategies and cover historical fire activity in the region, as well as what is being done to adapt to a changing climate and improve fire resiliency.

“Combined, land use change, fire exclusion and global warming have made many forests highly susceptible to intense fires that are difficult to control and spread to large sizes,” reads a press release issued by the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Society. “Revolutionizing forest and fire management will improve ecosystem resilience to climate change, but we will not stop future fires from burning. Successful adaptation must include individuals and communities learning how to live with wildfire.”

The presentation will be led by Dr. Lori Daniels, Professor of Forest Ecology in the Forest and Conservation Sciences Department at University of British Columbia and Don Gayton, a consulting ecologist with a Master’s degree in Plant Ecology from the University of Saskatchewan.

Daniels, who has worked on fire history in the East Kootenay for many years, directs the Tree-Ring Lab where she investigates and reconstructs past disturbances like forest fires and insect outbreaks, while also studying the impacts of climate and humans on forest change.

Backed with a research team at UBC, Daniels is researching wildfires and forest resilience to climate change in the B.C. Interior, Rocky Mountain National Parks and foothills of Alberta. She has served on B.C.’s Prescribed Fire Council and as an advisor to the 2017 Provincial Flood and Fire Review.

Gayton will provide his personal experience and chronology of fire, starting his young days before fast-forwarding to the 1990s in the Rocky Mountain Trench. It was then that Gayton learned about fire-maintained ecosystems and First Nations use of fire and contemporary prescribed burning.

Gayton, who has worked for the B.C. Forest Service, as well for FORREX, will recount people and events that have shaped conventional understanding of fire behaviour in the region’s dry forests and grasslands.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vehicle parades celebrate birthdays, recognize workers on COVID-19 front lines

Melissa Young started the parades in Cranbrook as a way to mark her son’s 12th birthday

City of Cranbrook seeks public cooperation with provincial COVID-19 mandates

City Bylaw will be monitoring, educating public around orders set by the province

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Nelson product commits to Cranbrook Bucks

Noah Quinn will make the jump to Jr. A next year with the BCHL’s newest franchise

MP Morrison ‘disappointed’ in six-week delay for wage subsidy support

Kootenay-Columbia MP says small businesses and employees need financial help now

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read