Fuel management in the 100 Mile House Community Forest along Horse Lake Ridge has been post-phoned until the spring as a result of heavy snowfall earlier in the year, according to Community Forest Manager Bill Hadden.
“We originally anticipated starting harvest in early October this year. Heavy snowfall on Oct. 4 resulted in an inoperable road system. With steady rains throughout October and early November, the roads became saturated to the point the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure placed load restrictions on all side roads in the area.”
The operation is expected to last about eight weeks which, if fuel management had started mid-November when roads had somewhat improved, meant it would have run into snowmobile season, according to Hadden.
“Because the road system on ‘the ridge’ encompasses a gazetted snowmobile trail tenure, there is a possibility of conflict between sleds and logging trucks. With this timing in mind, a decision was made to postpone harvest in this area until May 2019.”
Despite these timing challenges, Community Forest administration are of the view there is sufficient time to complete fuel mitigation harvesting before the typical onset of the wildfire season in mid-July.
He adds, there has been an incredible amount of planning, coordination and co-operation amongst various ministries, consultants, First Nations, and Community Forest Staff to move this project forward and they thank everyone for their input and continued support.