100 MILE HOUSE, BC: The BC Wildfire Service will help BC Parks conduct a 100-hectare ecosystem restoration burn in the Dry Farm area of the Churn Creek Protected Area, about 75 kilometres west of 100 Mile House, between April 17 and May 17, 2019.
The exact timing of the burn will depend on weather and site conditions. When the fire is ignited, smoke may be visible from surrounding communities.
BC Parks is conducting this project as part of ongoing grassland restoration efforts in the Churn Creek area. The ecology of this region has declined since European settlement, partly due to the suppression of naturally occurring wildfires. Using aerial photos from the early 1950s, BC Parks has developed a 50-year plan to reintroduce controlled burns to the Churn Creek Protected Area.
This project will enhance wildlife habitat and improve forage for mule deer and bighorn sheep. The proactive use of fire will also reduce the amount of sagebrush in the area and help prevent the encroachment of fir trees on open grasslands.
Fire is a natural process in many of British Columbia’s ecosystems, and many species of other animals, plants, birds and insects depend on fire for its regenerative properties. The size and intensity of prescribed burns are carefully planned and controlled to meet management objectives for fire-maintained ecosystems.
A prescribed burn is an intentionally ignited fire that is planned and managed by a certified “burn boss.” The burn boss is responsible for ensuring that the initial burn conditions are favourable and the fire is fully extinguished once the prescribed burn is completed.
All prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. This helps minimize the amount of smoke generated.
A factsheet about prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration burns is available online: