The BC Wildfire Service will help BC Parks conduct a 100-hectare burn about 75 km west of 100 Mile House between April 17 and May 17.
The restoration burn will be conducted in the Dry Farm area of the Churn Creek Protected Area as part of a 50-year plan to reintroduce controlled burns to the grassland ecosystem.
The exact timing of the intentionally ignited fire, which will be managed by a certified “burn boss,” will depend on weather and site conditions, a BC Wildfire Service bulletin said on April 17.
When the fire is ignited, smoke may be visible from surrounding communities. However, the bulletin noted that all prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation, which help minimize the amount of smoke generated.
“BC Parks is conducting this project as part of ongoing grassland restoration efforts in the Churn Creek area,” the bulletin said.
“The ecology of this region has declined since European settlement, partly due to the suppression of naturally occurring wildfires.”
The bulletin said the burn will improve forage for mule deer and bighorn sheep, and reduce the amount of sagebrush in the area to help prevent the encroachment of fir trees on open grasslands.
“Fire is a natural process in many of British Columbia’s ecosystems, and many species of other animals, plants, birds and insects depend on fire for its regenerative properties,” the bulletin continued.
”The size and intensity of prescribed burns are carefully planned and controlled to meet management objectives for fire-maintained ecosystems.”