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Downed spruce trees in Otway area set to be burned this month

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Photo by Everett Bumstead on

The BC Wildfire Service plans to pile and burn spruce beetle “trap trees” that were felled in the spring of 2020 within the Prince George fire zone between Otway Road and Foothills Boulevard.

The piles will be burned periodically between Nov. 2, 2020 and Nov. 27, 2020. The decision on when to burn will depend on weather, site and venting conditions. Such burns are only conducted when conditions are suitable, and they must comply with the open burning and smoke control regulation to limit the impact on air quality in nearby communities, according to the Fire Service.

The burn site is about 10 kilometres northwest of downtown Prince George, between Otway Road and Foothills Boulevard. Smoke and flames may be visible from North Nechako Road, Otway Road, Foothills Boulevard, and from parts of Chief Lake Road and the Hart Highlands area.

BC Wildfire Service personnel will be on site to control and monitor the burn piles.This project is part of ongoing fuel management treatments to promote forest health (by removing trees affected by spruce beetles) and to mitigate the risk of wildfires in interface areas (where urban development borders on forested areas).

Trap trees are trees that have been cut down and deliberately left lying on the ground to attract harmful adult spruce beetles in the spring. The beetles are more likely to infest a trap tree than standing trees, so this technique can greatly reduce spruce beetle attacks on healthy trees nearby.

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