In recent years, heat waves and a lack of precipitation throughout the summers in British Columbia have greatly increased the risk of wildfires all over the province. Thanks to a grant of $670,000 provided by the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), the Creston Community Forest has been able to reduce the threat posed by potential wildfires to our community.
Over 120 hectares of forest on Goat Mountain have been subjected to wildfire fuel reduction. Harvesting and removing approximately 10,400 cubic meters of unhealthy trees and undergrowth from the area, while preserving a good number of healthy trees. This method of mitigation results in a forest that is more typical of the times when wildfires frequented the area. Before the introduction of fire suppression programs in the early 1900s, the Creston Valley and surrounding areas were affected by wildfires every 30 to 40 years. The work being done by the fuel mitigation crews is attempting to mimic the effect of a wildfire on the forest; cleaning up the understory, removing some of the ladder fuels and helping to restore the ecology of the area.
Since completing the work on Goat Mountain we have identified and begun work on several other blocks around the Creston Valley in hopes to further reduce the threat of potential wildfires. Thanks to the hard work of local fuel mitigation crews led by Jim Macaulay (Macaulay Forestry Ltd.) and Lance Huscroft (Northspar Holdings Ltd.) we have been able to provide the steady employment of at least 15 locals and the substantial reduction to the risk of wildfires in our valley.
FESBC has recently published an article going further in depth on our wildfire fuel mitigation work. To learn more follow the link below: