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WFN, BCWS executing cultural, prescribed burn this week

People in Kelowna may notice some smoke coming from the southeast area this month.

There is no cause for alarm because the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) and Westbank First Nation (WFN) are conducting a cultural and prescribed burn this week after preparation work began on Monday, March 4.

The burning of around 40 hectares will begin as early as Monday, March 11, depending on conditions.

This phase of the burn is part of a larger ongoing project that covers 86 hectares.

The planned burn is meant to serve as a “critical” cross training exercise for staff of WFN and the BCWS, a release says.

<who> Photo Credit: WFN file picture

“The purpose of this cultural and prescribed burn is to reduce the build up of dead grass, increasing the productivity of traditional foods and improving winter grazing for wildlife,” the BCWS says.

“This prescribed burn will improve public safety through a reduction in fuel loading (standing and surface fuel) within the wildland urban interface (WUI).”

However, as is the case with all planned burns, the start time will be heavily dependent on local weather and venting conditions.

Ignitions will only begin if the conditions are equitable to allow smoke to dissipate quickly.

Crew members from both WFN and the BCWS will be on site carefully controlling the fire and monitoring it throughout the duration of the project.

Smoke is expected to be visible from Kelowna, West Kelowna and possibly Lake Country.



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