- Kelowna Votes
The essential fire reduction plan is part of an annual provincial $20 million investment from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, funded by the Crown Land Wildfire Risk (WRR) program.
The first stage of the WRR program includes thinning the forests through mechanical and manual falling, pruning, removing surface fuels, and pile burning or fibre removal.
Selective logging around the resort is an essential part of the provincial fuel management program to protect the public, property, and essential infrastructure in the area.
"For the past months, there has been a lot of activity around the resort involving chainsaws, cutting of trees, and trucking of logs," said Michael Ballingall, Senior Vice President of Big White Ski Resort Ltd. "This is an essential risk management project that will continue in the controlled recreational boundaries at Big White Ski Resort."
The provincial fuel management planning and treatments began back in 2019, focusing on crown land located near communities to prevent future wildfires.
"The saw work is finished, and the last of the logs that were going to be trucked off the mountain left Wednesday, July 14. The crews are now raking and piling brush in the treated areas and will move the piles to their landings in preparation for chipping. There will still be machines working in the treated areas but will be quieter than chainsaws, so please keep out of these areas,” said Ballingall.
Work is expected to be completed by the end of July, with the exception to chipping.
Phase two of this project will involve the removal of heavy undergrowth and lower braces on trees, crews will be clearing away immature young trees to widen the spacing between trees.
Some selected trees will remain to provide shade and adequate re-growth opportunities for the forest.
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