A 500-hectare prescribed burn is planned in the Crows Bar area between April 16 and April 30, weather and site conditions permitting, according to The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
The purpose of the burn is to help restore native grassland ecosystems in the area, according to the Ministry and it will cover about 500 hectares on the eastern bank of the Fraser River (across from the Churn Creek Protected Area), about 70 kilometres west of 100 Mile House and about 50 kilometres northwest of Clinton.
Smoke from this controlled fire may be visible from nearby communities, according to the Ministry, adding that BC Wildfire Service firefighters from the Cariboo Fire Centre will assist with this project and will carefully monitor the fire at all times.
The burn will be planned and managed by a certified “burn boss,” responsible for ensuring that the initial burn conditions are favourable and that the fire is fully extinguished once the prescribed burn is completed.
Research has shown that fires used to be much more common in the Cariboo resulting in more open grasslands
The reintroduction of managed, low-intensity ground fires to these grasslands is intended to restore and maintain traditional grassland plant communities that are native to these areas, according to the release.
“These types of planned fires also reduce accumulations of flammable material (fuel management), leading to a decreased risk of significant wildfires.”
The burn is part of an ongoing ecosystem restoration program administered by the provincial government through the Cariboo’s Ecosystem Restoration Steering Committee, in consultation with First Nations, local ranchers, forest licensees, outdoors organizations, the Fraser Basin Council, the B.C. Wildlife Federation and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Society, according to the release.