Fuel treatment measures have been taking place in Ogden Park (pictured here) and other areas around the District of Clearwater as part of the district's Community Wildfire Protection Plan. A grant was received this winter to perform $181,000-worth of fuel prescriptions and treatment. (Submitted photo)

DoC receives grant for fuel management in district

The District of Clearwater has received a grant to support fuel management treatments on land owned by the district or Crown lands within the DOC boundaries.

A Community Wildfire Protection Plan was completed in 2019. In response to recommendations in the plan, the DOC applied for and received grant approval in winter 2020 to complete $181,000 of fuel prescriptions and land treatment in the area.

According to the Government of British Columbia website, fire and fuel management is increasingly important as the current wildfire trends, in both B.C. and Canada, show increased impacts from unwanted wildfires and threats to communities and infrastructure, as well as increased losses of natural resources, such as timber supply.

There are many effects driving these events, including climate change, mountain pine beetle infestations and ever-expanding development of communities and infrastructure on forested land.

In Clearwater, fuel management is happening in three areas under this current funding: Ogden Park, Grizzly Heights Park and a piece of Crown land up Raft Forest Service Road. The Crown land is part of the community forest.

The fuel management funding has a FireSmart education component, and will focus on site-level wildfire risk reduction planning, according to the DOC.

During a roundtable discussion held last year, it was hoped that the FireSmart demonstrations could be performed on private land, but unable to do so, the DOC is using Grizzly Heights and Ogden Park for their FireSmart public education component that will enable residents to perform FireSmart fuel manangement on their own properties.

Treatment is a good thing, said Leslie Groulx, chief administrative officer, as the majority of land within DOC boundaries that are forested is private.

Before they can hit the ground running, the District is required to go through a process of approvals. The process includes consultation with the three surrounding First Nations bands, as well as the Ministry of Forests Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Finally, approval to start work also comes from BC Wildfire Services and the funder, the Union of BC Municipalities.

The fuel management treatment currently happening was awarded by a call for a request for proposal from the DOC. The contract work was was awarded to KDC Forestry Consulting.

For more information, reach out to the DOC offices at 250-674-2257.