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FireSmart burns taking place along Bichwood Trails

PHOTO: Supplied: FireSmart work in the Birchwood Trails. RMWB Facebook.

FireSmart work will continue this week with supervised burns taking place throughout 20.6 hectares of land in the Birchwood Trail System as part of the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Strategy.

This is the final project taking place in the area which is expected to run until March and will have a total of 125 hectares of land around the tails be treated with Firesmart prescriptions.

Crews will be working along the perimeter of the trails to remove all dead and unhealthy trees and prune and thin evergreen trees in the area.

Smoke may be visible during the supervised burns that will be done to dispose of the debris, a practice that is a standard procedure for FireSmart vegetation management projects to reduce wildfire fuel in the area and increase public safety.

Regional Emergency Fire Chief, Jody Butz said that creating a FireSmart perimeter around the trails will also protect the homes and communities that back onto them.

“Through these FireSmart projects, we’re able to take a high-risk area like the Birchwood Trails and make it significantly safer. By reducing the fuel build up, removing dead trees and strategically thinning highly-combustible evergreens, we’re able to reduce the risk of future wildfire in the area and ultimately, improve public safety,” said Butz. 

All supervised burns will take place when conditions are safe to do so, and efforts will be made to minimize smoke during the process with hand-crews working to minimize ground-disturbance in the trail system, which may see some temporarily closures throughout the project.