Fuel management work underway on outskirts of Williams Lake – Williams Lake Tribune

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New wildfire risk reduction work is underway where urban development and forest meet on the outskirts of Williams Lake.

Logging contractor Peter Nilsson began work for the Ministry of Forests on an area of ​​83.1 hectares, using heavy machinery, in mid-November.

Its two access points are at the western end of Eagleview Road and on Chimney Valley Road.

Treatments include selective harvesting to remove some trees and manual labor to clear fine woody debris and small, dense trees from the understory.

Taking a break on a Friday afternoon at the Chimney Valley Road site, Nilsson said he looked at a stand, determined which trees were growing well and removed those that were weak.

He also prunes some trees at least three meters high, removes lichen which is flammable and splits woody debris into wood which can be shipped to local sawmills.

Some of the waste will be burned on site, due to cost and access limitations.

The ministry has confirmed that the treated area has been managed for beetle salvage since 2001 using selective harvesting methods.

Nearby trails are closed on days when a contractor is working with machinery, and signs to alert the public have been posted at both locations.

Nilsson said he will be finished around March 31, with the possibility of follow-up work in the fall.

The ministry noted that approximately 1,200 hectares of land in and around Williams Lake is expected to be treated over the next two years.

Program objectives include the removal of hazardous trees and flammable shrubs, the reduction of woody debris and other combustibles on the forest floor by stockpiling and burning or chipping and crushing the material for offsite use, l thinning of wooded areas by cutting smaller trees and some mature trees, and pruning of low tree branches to help prevent fire from spreading into the treetops.

For Darrell and Patricia Barron, both retired from the Department of Forestry, the wildfire risk reduction work bodes well with their own efforts to fire their property on Eagleview Road smartly.

After living in Williams Lake for 30 years, the Barrons asked Zirnhelt Timber Frames to build them a home in 2010 with a metal roof and Hardie plank siding.

They started burning immediately.

“We have more to do,” Darrell said. ” It is a work in progress. There are things we know we should still be doing.

Patricia said that in August 2021 consultant forester Ken Day came and did a smart fire assessment for them.

“We took advantage of the program offered by the city to give feedback on the fire resistance of your property and see if we were on the right page,” Patricia said, adding that after the assessment they had taken down nine more trees.


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