Ecosystem restoration burn set for Syringa Park

This burn will cover about 10 hectares. Smoke may be visible from Castlegar and surrounding communities.

  • Mar. 12, 2015 12:00 p.m.

The Wildfire Management Branch will be conducting a prescribed burn near Tulip Creek in Syringa Provincial Park between March 13 and March 31, weather conditions permitting, in conjunction with B.C. Parks and B.C. Hydro’s Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.

This controlled burn is part of the Lower Arrow Lake Ecosystem Restoration Program and will cover about 10 hectares. Smoke may be visible from Castlegar and surrounding communities.

During the burn period and throughout the following evening, smoke may affect traffic on Deer Creek Forest Service Road. Flag people will be on site when heavy smoke is present to ensure the safety of motorists.

Fire is a natural, normal process in many ecosystems. It is beneficial and necessary to maintain a healthy forest and diversity of plant and animal life. Through evolution and exposure to wildfires, many plants and animals have adapted to fire and actually depend on it to reproduce.

Historically, grasslands and an open forest canopy have been maintained in the West Kootenay through frequent, low-intensity ground fires. In the absence of naturally occurring fires in recent decades, the planned site of the Tulip Creek ecosystem restoration burn has become overgrown. This prescribed fire, in combination with thinning, pruning and brush-clearing projects, will help the area return to its natural state.

The objective of this controlled burn is to rejuvenate the shrub, herb and grass layer, which will enhance winter habitats for mule deer, elk and bighorn sheep, improve overall biodiversity in the area, create a more open forest habitat and increase the availability of nutrients. The overall reduction in fuel loads will also decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.