One of the five-person Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nations wildfire crew — all from Canoe Creek – did some burning at Sunsetview site next to 941 Green Lake South Rd. during a couple of recent good venting index days. They’ll be burning more piles when they get some good venting index days. (Ken Alexander - Correspondent)

BC Parks doing some fuel-management projects on Green Lake’s Sunsetview site

By Ken Alexander

The most recent fuel-management projects at Green Lake Provincial Park sites started in December 2019 in the Sunsetview site on the south side of the lake and Emerald Bay on the north side.

Tom Hughes, BC Parks area supervisor, says BC Parks goal is to reduce fuel loading and ladder fuels in interface areas of the park towards mitigating the risk and spread of wildfire.

“BC Parks’ goal is to continue working with the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), both the Cariboo and Thompson-Nicola regional districts, the local community and First Nations towards mitigating the risk and spread of wildfire and to protect park values and infrastructure.

“Part of our goal is to link our treated areas within the park where possible with the areas being treated outside of the park.”

Contractor John Liscomb says he had a five-person Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nations wildfire crew — all from Canoe Creek – working at Sunsetview site, from 941 Green Lake South Rd. and heading toward the park entrance, from Dec. 3 to Dec. 12.

Liscomb adds he hopes to finish the project early in 2020.

They thinned out the forest and pruned tree limbs to shoulder height. Then they collected the ground and ladder fuel and put it in one-metre by two-metre piles for burning.

“BC Parks requested additional funding through the FLNRORD Wildfire Risk Reduction (WRR) Funding, allowing BC Parks to complete a contract amendment to continue this winter with the implementation of the fuel-reduction prescription on these two sites,” says Hughes.

Liscomb’s crew was back in late January and early February to do some more Fuel Treatment Units (FTUs) work on both sides of Green Lake South Road, and conducted some burning during a couple good venting index days.

Fuel management

Hughes notes BC Parks has been conducting fuel-management projects within Green Lake Provincial Park for several years.

In 2008, BC Parks completed a project to reduce the amount of mountain pine beetle killed stems from the campground and day use areas of Green Lake Provincial Park to mitigate public safety concerns and to reduce fuel loading.

In 2016, BC Parks completed a fuel management project on the Buckside Hill Site area of the park, including a portion on the east side of the Emerald Bay campground, Hughes says.

“In 2018, taking what we learned from previous fuel-management work and considering the impacts of the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire, we developed several Green Lake Park fuel-management prescriptions. They linked our prescription treatment units within the park to those being developed by FLNRORD, 100 Mile Natural Resource District, outside Green Lake Park.”

This collaboration seeks to provide landscape-level fuel-management planning and effectiveness, he adds.

BC Parks developed fuel-management prescriptions for the following sites of Green Lake Provincial Park: Nolan Creek Site; Sunsetview Campground and Day Use Area; Boyd Bay Site; and the Emerald Bay Site.

“To date, we have started implementing the prescriptions,” Hughes explains.

Nolan Creek Site has four FTUs and was worked on in 2019 by the BC Wildfire Service’s Storm Rider Unit Crew out of 100 Mile House.

“We expect to have this site completed in 2020.”

Sunsetview has six FTUs and in the fall of 2019, BC Parks partnered with the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation to complete several of these FTUs.

The continuation of these projects through to their completion will happen in 2020 through 2022.

Projects to date have been completed through a combination of the BC Parks and the FLNRORD WRR Funding, Hughes explains.

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