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Press Release

Dec. 20, 2018

SMITHERS – The rehabilitation of land impacted by the suppression of wildfires in 2018 is underway throughout the Northwest Fire Centre, with work being done at 12 of the most significant fire sites.

The initial work is referred to as “emergency works,” which is intended to stabilize the area before the onset of winter. These priority works are considered to be essential for public safety and environmental protection and usually begin immediately after a wildfire is declared to be under control. Rehabilitation planning and associated activities are generally undertaken the following year, as weather conditions allow.

Key tasks associated with these emergency rehabilitation works include:

  • stabilizing slopes next to highways and bodies of water
  • clearing away danger trees (i.e. trees so badly burned that they’ve become unstable and could topple over at any time)
  • grass seeding, to re-establish vegetation and help control soil erosion
  • removing timber that was cut down (decked timber) to establish fireguards and slow the growth of the fires

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is rehabilitating areas impacted by wildfire suppression operations as the first step in land-based recovery. The B.C. government is collaborating with local governments and First Nations that were impacted by these wildfires. Rehabilitation planning for another two sites in the Northwest Fire Centre will begin in 2019.

Rehabilitation projects underway in the Nadina Fire Zone

Verdun Mountain wildfire, 47,610 hectares, originated 35 kilometres south of Burns Lake:

  • about 167 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • rehabilitation work (using machinery) is ongoing, as weather permits
  • grass seeding (aerial and by hand) is underway

Nadina Lake wildfire, 86,767 hectares, originated 40 kilometres south of Houston:

  • about 303 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • field work for the rehabilitation plan is complete
  • grass seeding (aerial and by hand) is underway

Gilmore Lake wildfire, 216 hectares, originated eight kilometres southwest of Topley:

  • about 23 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • field work for the rehabilitation plan is complete
  • rehabilitation work (using machinery) is ongoing, as weather permits

Cheslatta Lake wildfire, 8,100 hectares, originated 58 kilometres southeast of Burns Lake:

  • about 55 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • rehabilitation work (using machinery) is complete
  • additional rehabilitation planning will be carried out in spring 2019

Hautete wildfire, 3,366 hectares, originated 35 kilometres southeast of Fort Babine:

  • about 53 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • grass seeding (by hand) is underway
  • additional rehabilitation planning will be carried out in spring 2019

Rehabilitation projects underway in the Bulkley Fire Zone

Pope Forest Service Road wildfire, 562 hectares, originated 37 kilometres northwest of New Hazelton:

  • about 32 kilometres of fireguard required rehabilitation
  • all rehabilitation work has been completed and inspected

Torkelsen Lake wildfire, 2,524 hectares, originated 25 kilometres south of Fort Babine:

  • about 33 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • decked timber (from the creation of fireguards) is being moved to a local mill
  • hand grass seeding for this wildfire site is complete
  • a rehabilitation plan has been completed
  • rehabilitation work (using machinery) is ongoing, as weather permits

Nichyeskwa Creek wildfire, 884 hectares, originated 25 kilometres northwest of Fort Babine:

  • about 13 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • a rehabilitation plan has been completed
  • all decked timber (from the creation of fireguards) has been moved to a local mill
  • grass seeding is almost complete

West Babine River wildfire, 10,850 hectares, originated 50 kilometres northwest of Fort Babine:

  • about 26 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • a rehabilitation plan has been completed
  • no emergency rehabilitation work was necessary for this wildfire site
  • all decked timber (from the creation of fireguards) has been moved to a local mill

Mill Creek wildfire, 357 hectares, originated 12 kilometres northwest of Kitwanga:

  • about half a kilometre of fireguard requires rehabilitation
  • a rehabilitation plan has been completed

Rehabilitation projects underway in the Cassiar Fire Zone

Alkali Lake wildfire, 121,215 hectares, originated five kilometres northwest of Telegraph Creek:

  • about 57 kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • the ministry is working with the Tahltan Nation and the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation to complete emergency rehabilitation works, as weather permits
  • a rehabilitation plan will be prepared for spring 2019

Lutz Creek wildfire, 100,779 hectares, originated 13 kilometres southwest of Lower Post:

  • about seven kilometres of fireguard require rehabilitation
  • a rehabilitation plan has been approved
  • work and site inspections have begun and will be completed in spring 2019

Contact:

Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
250 356-7506

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