OLIVER, B.C.: Funding approved by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) facilitated the protection of Baldy Mountain Resort, the community, and the resort’s future sub-divisions with a 350-metre-wide fuel break. The last wildfire moved through the area in the 1930s. Since that time, a stand of dense fire-prone trees has grown back. The over $279,000 in funding from FESBC was critical in protecting the community from future wildfires.

“As a high-risk area, prone to large-scale catastrophic wildfire, we undertook this project to not only protect the resort, and community of over 100 cabins, but an area of abundant natural beauty,” said Andy Foster of Baldy Mountain Resort. “While the main aim was to build a fuel break, it was also vital to the resort to have minimal impact on the aesthetics of the mountain so the resort can be enjoyed for years to come.”

The fuel break is in a horseshoe-shaped band around the resort and was created by increasing spacing between tree crowns and decreasing surface fuel loading on the forest floor, so if or when a fire enters the fuel break, it’s lower in intensity. The goal was to thin trees in a patchy distribution to form islands of trees and avoid clearcutting the area, a project fully supported by the provincial government’s Mountain Resorts Branch.

“FESBC is delighted to participate with Baldy Mountain Resort in reducing wildfire risk to their citizens, homes, and infrastructure such as emergency escape routes, water availability, and communication infrastructure,” said FESBC Operations Manager Dave Conly, RPF. “FESBC applauds Mount Baldy for recognizing the risk of wildfire and taking action to reduce that risk.”