KELOWNA B.C.—Close to 100 hectares near Big White Ski Resort will be treated to reduce interface wildfire risk. The goal is to minimize potential home, resort infrastructure and business loss due to wildfire, and ensure the resort’s continued contribution to the economy. The treatments will also help to protect part of the mountain’s only egress route.
Big White, which is the highest point of the Okanagan Highlands, is home to 251 year-round residents and a community school with over 50 students.
“When you live in a community where there’s only one road out and you see the devastation a fire can bring, it’s nerve racking,” said Michael Ballingall, senior vice president, Big White Ski Resort. “In 2003, during the Okanagan fires, we were on evacuation standby with only one road out. The forest around the resort hasn’t burned for over 200 years, so we were looking for a program to help us clear around Big White.”