PRESCRIBED BURN PLANNED FOR SPRING 2021 In Airport Pasture, BC
March 31st, 2021
For the residents of TaTa Creek/LD Ranch Road/Meadowbrook- please note that the Rocky Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program in conjunction with the BC Wildfire Services and the Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society are planning to conduct a prescribed burn in the TaTa Creek area between APRIL 1st -May 10th 2021, weather and burning conditions permitting.
Prescribed burns are being conducted for ecosystem restoration purposes and will occur on the Old Kimberley Airport pasture southeast of the TaTa Creek community (North of LD Ranch Road and East of Hwy95A). The proposed burn area is approximately 320 hectares, as noted in red outline in the map below. The prescribed burn in this area conducted in fall 2020 is outlined in green.
Historically, the forests in the Rocky Mountain Trench were 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 grasslands and open forests in the Rocky Mountain Trench. Combined with other factors, the resulting forest ingrowth has caused an overall deterioration in wildlife habitat, cattle forage and other forest values.
The reintroduction of low-intensity ground fires to these forests is intended to maintain and restore what ecologist describe as “fire maintained, Douglas fir, fescue grass community”, which is natural for these sites. On this specific site this prescribed burn completes the initial step in restoring this closed forest to open forest conditions. Previously the Airport pasture has been logged in 2006 and 2009 and spaced from 2011 to 2017 under three funding sources. This thinning is important to improve the grass growth on site that will facilitate the recovery of ground squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus) and American badger (Taxidea taxus) populations. This project will help reduce fuels in retained forests and Old Growth Management Areas in this block and allow them to withstand wildfire. It also helps create a large fuel break onsite just down wind of Tata creek and Wasa.
The prescribed fires are part of an ongoing restoration program with the BC Provincial Government in partnership with many non-government organizations. For more information, visit www.trench-er.com
The public is invited to contact the Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program, as noted below, to discuss the use of fire as a management tool and other aspects of the ecosystem restoration program. Please Contact
Marc Trudeau, Coordinator
Rocky Mountain Trench
Ecosystem Restoration Program
Special thanks to all our funders who have funded this project for twenty years so we can carry out this prescribed burn this year; The Habitat Stewardship Program from Environment Canada and Climate Change, The Columbia Basin Trust, the Fish Wildlife Compensation Program (Columbia Basin) and the Land Based Investment Fund and the BC Wildfire Management Service both contained in Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations