The 108 Greenbelt Commission has continued its work to reduce the risk of wildfire in the Walker Valley area of 108 Mile Ranch. This year’s work entails selectively thinning trees in two areas on the west side of the railway track through logging.
“I’m happy to say that the Greenbelt Commission’s fuel management work west of the railway tracks has been strongly encouraged and supported by the BC Wildfire Service,” said Al Richmond, Electoral Area G Director, in a Cariboo Regional District (CRD) news release. “It is also really encouraging that our neighbours to the west and north of 108 Mile Ranch have also started fuel management programs on the land they own or manage. When all this work is completed, the BC Wildfire Service has said this wide fuel break will significantly reduce the risk of a serious interface wildfire in the area.”
The work being done this year is similar to what was done in the Walker Valley last winter. Current work is being done across from the Kallum loop and Gloinnzun Crescent.
Most of the logging in those areas has been completed with one small four-hectare area remaining in the northern green triangle on the map attached. This area will require heli-logging operations due to a very steep slope. Mechanical harvesting is not possible. The heli-logging is set to begin in early March and will continue for one or two weeks, depending on the weather.
Sarver Wood Fibre, based in 108 Mile Ranch, will conduct the work after being contracted by the CRD.
Drones and model aircraft are not permitted within three kilometres of the area where the helicopter is working.
The 108 Greenbelt Commission is expecting the work will be complete in early April, including creating brush piles. The burning of debris piles from the 2017-18 winter fuel management program in Walker Valley is also nearly complete. Seeding will begin in the spring.
The commission will also be hiring a contractor to review the greenbelt pockets inside the community. According to the release, fire mitigation efforts were completed in these areas over the last decade, more work is now needed, especially in areas with recent infestations of fir bark beetles. Plans made by the commission, as well as recommendations for the upcoming study, will be shared with residents as soon as possible.