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Prescribed burns scheduled near Houston

The BC Wildfire Service will be conducting a series of fuel management treatments in the Lund Road subdivision near Houston to reduce wildfire risks and potential impacts on nearby residences, properties and other values.

The treatments will begin this spring and continue throughout 2019 when fire crews are not actively preparing for or responding to wildfires.

These fuel treatments will cover 4.3 hectares of forested land that contains a large volume of dead and blown-down spruce and pine trees. A large-scale wildfire hazard reduction project was completed in the same area in 2010.

All of these prescribed treatments will be conducted manually by BC Wildfire Service crews. Woody debris will be collected into piles about two metres high by two metres wide and then burned when weather and site conditions are suitable. Wind speed, wind direction and venting conditions will be considered prior to ignition to help smoke dissipate as quickly as possible.

Signs will be posted in the area to inform residents when crews are using chainsaws.

FireSmart and fuel management:

Fuel management is a key component of the FireSmart program. The objective is to reduce wildfire risks on Crown land and nearby properties, while making it easier and safer for firefighters to access and work in treated areas in the event of a wildfire.

These goals are achieved by:

* removing flammable materials from the forest floor (such as branches, needles and leaf debris), piling them up and burning them under controlled conditions;

* pruning the lower branches of trees that could otherwise allow a surface wildfire to spread into the forest canopy;

* thinning the forest canopy to leave more open space between trees;

* removing dead standing trees that could fuel a wildfire or pose a safety risk to trail users; and

* retaining mature coniferous and deciduous trees, wildfire habitat trees and coarse woody debris (i.e. logs on the forest floor that are home to various species of wildlife) to promote biodiversity.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca