Fuel management projects play a crucial role in wildfire risk reduction. By pruning trees and removing combustible materials in an area, these projects significantly decrease the chances of a wildfire igniting while increasing our ability to fight any fires that do start.
This fall, work began on a three-phase wildfire risk reduction project around the Hwy 6 / Hwy 3A interchange.
Phase one: A hand treatment was completed on City of Nelson and Crown land under the guidance of professional foresters with provincial grant funds accessed through the Community Resiliency Investment Program. The treatment covering 5.7 hectares, saw the removal of lower limbs from all conifers to 2 meters above the ground and the removal of all woody debris and fuels from the surface. This work reduced the potential intensity of a wildfire in the area and helped prevent the spread of a potential surface fire to the trees along this valuable evacuation corridor. All excess woody debris was removed from the site.
Phase two: A prescribed burn of grass and stubble covering 1.84 hectares on either side of the interchange is planned for the spring of 2024. This prescribed burn will be conducted by Nelson Fire & Rescue Services with the assistance of The BC Wildfire Service. Once completed, this treatment will drastically reduce the wildfire risk posed by human ignition and natural starts in this area. The burn will only be conducted under ideal conditions and is contingent on appropriate venting and weather to ensure safety and minimal disturbance to residents. Notice will be given to residents in the spring with more details in advance of any burning operations.
Phase three: A pilot program to test the application of native wildflower seeds to a small portion of some of the burned treatment units is currently being researched. This seeding will encourage biodiversity in the area and provide valuable habitat to pollinators while beautifying the landscape.
A consultation period preceding the prescribed burn will be taking place from now until February 1st 2024. We encourage you to bring forward any questions or concerns that you might have to the FireSmart Coordinator at Nelson Fire & Rescue Services by calling (250) 352-8116 or emailing email@example.com.
In addition to those projects completed by professional forestry crews, numerous volunteer events have been organized where community members come together to clear away excess vegetation, deadwood, and other potential fire fuels. These collective efforts not only bolster the safety of our neighborhoods but also foster community spirit and awareness about the importance of mitigating wildfire risks. In 2023 roughly 5.5 hectares were treated with the help of volunteers including projects on the Rail Trail and Art Gibbon Park. If you’d like to get involved, please visit our FireSmart Public Events Page.
Fuel Management Outside The City
Across all local jurisdictions, landscape-level mitigation projects have been completed to aid in wildfire prevention including nearby in Selous Creek, The RDCK, West Arm Provincial Park, and Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.
Outside of Nelson, BC Parks has developed the West Arm Provincial Park Fire Management Plan to protect park values in the event of a wildfire, while the RDCK continues to update its Community Wildfire Protection Plan Program with information and guidance for communities adjacent to Nelson.
Visit the RDCK Wildfire Risk Reduction page for more information about what is being done to reduce the impacts of wildfire in these areas.