The history of the Wells Gray corridor – past, present and future

Remember everyone, trees have a real bad habit. They grow back, like the timber that grew back after the fire

Editor, The Times:

Once upon a time in the late 1920’s, the Wells Gray corridor was hit by a devastating wildfire. It went up the valley (as some old-timers years ago said, “faster that a horse could run”). They took refuge in creeks and ponds and endured the cold of the water to save their lives.

After the fire had passed and the shock had left them, and they started to pick up the pieces of their lives, they realized the fire had been a blessing in disguise.

In its passing, it had helped the farmer to clear his fields. To provide building materials for his new home and buildings. Fire-dried wood to heat his home. Ash and coarse woody debris to provide nutrients for his fields. It supplied food for the moose that started to move in.

Present Day

Wells Gray residents enjoy what’s left of the timber in the valley bottoms. High elevation timber was hardly touched. All the timber that residents and woodlots are logging is what has grown up since the fire.

Now there are complaints about the thought of logging trucks being on the road. What’s the problem? People and woodlot owners up there have been logging their property and woodlots for years. Logging the very timber that has grown up since the fire.

I drive on the Wells Gray road every day. I have never had trouble from small vehicles to motorhomes, tour buses or logging trucks. Why, you may ask? Because it is a two (2) lane road, and I watch where I am driving.

Remember everyone, trees have a real bad habit. They grow back, like the timber that grew back after the fire.

Randy DeBock

Clearwater, B.C.