SICAMOUS, B.C.: A wildfire risk reduction project, valued at almost $1,000,000, is ready to roll out to provide greater protection from wildfires around the perimeter of Sicamous. The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) project will protect important infrastructure owned by the District of Sicamous (DOS) like its water reservoir and vital transportation corridors. The DOS will also realize another benefit from the work removing forest fuels in the development of a mountain bike park in the treatment area to allow for greater and safer access for citizens.
“Our community welcomes a large number of tourists each year,” said Operations Manager for the DOS, Joe McCulloch. “The work we’re doing now will not only help protect our local community and important infrastructure from the threat of wildfire but will also create additional opportunities for people to safely access the land for their recreational pursuits.”
The first area identified for priority treatment will be the community’s eastern boundary, an area with dense second growth Doulas Fir, Larch, Cedar, and Hemlock stands that extend from mountain tops to valley bottoms. These forests include high risk wildfire threats.
“We are excited to move forward on this project,” said DOS Fire Chief, Brett Ogino. “The first treatment will involve commercially thinning the overstory. The second treatment, funded by FESBC, entails thinning the understory by pruning and brushing to remove ladder and ground fuels. The combined treatments will reduce future wildfire intensity and reduce the likelihood of the fire getting into the treetops. If we can keep future fires on the ground, fire fighters will have a better chance of protecting the community. The area becomes increasingly drier in the summers and is a primary access point for thousands of recreational users. We still want people to be able to access these areas safely and enable our fire crews to have safer and easier access in the event of a wildfire.”