The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Emergency Program, in cooperation with Area B Director Mickey Macri and the Lillooet Fire Zone, has applied for and received funding from the UBCM to complete several wildfire fuel management prescriptions in Area B this fall.
A prescription is a document that identifies and describes a recommended wildfire fuel management treatment in order to decrease the wildfire threat in a particular interface area.
The SLRD has contracted a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) to identify areas around Pavilion Lake, Fountain Valley and Texas Creek Road where wildfire fuel management on Crown land would reduce risks to Area B residents and their properties.
Throughout late summer and early fall, residents may notice flagging tape going up in these areas. The flagging tape is to help the RPF identify and assess the area for wildfire fuel management treatments and complete the prescriptions; it is not for the purposes of commercial timber harvesting.
Director Macri told the News that when the prescriptions have been completed, residents and stakeholders in the identified areas would have an opportunity to comment in detail on the prescriptions.
Following this process, the SLRD will apply for additional funding under UBCM’s Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative to carry out the recommended treatments. Treatments often include measures such as thinning, removal of deadfall and standing dead trees, and removal of dry flammable materials.
Macri says he has set aside $100,000 in Area B funding for the project. He said he’s hoping the Union of BC Municipalities will provide funding on a 90/10 cost-sharing basis with the SLRD, instead of the other option, which is a 75/25 split.
He said a 90/10 funding split, with UBCM picking up 90 per cent of the costs, would make treatment programs “very inviting. We could get a lot done.”
If funding is obtained, Macri said “boots on the ground” treatment programs could start as early as November.
Macri told the News he has been working for six to eight years with the Lillooet Fire Zone to develop a prescription and treatment plan for Area B. He said he wanted to acknowledge the contributions of Lillooet Fire Zone officials such as Steve Newton and Verne Rasmussen and SLRD emergency program manager Ryan Wainwright.
“The initial start of all this comes from the Lillooet Fire Zone, from guys like Steve and Verne,” said Macri
In a news release, the SLRD said the wildfire threat in Area B is compounded by the many beetle and moth-affected trees, and the generally hot, dry summer conditions. “Most residents remember the wildfires of 2009 and the hardship that residents of Lillooet and surrounding areas endured for many days,” the SLRD stated.
Residents with any questions or concerns about the Wildfire Fuel Management Program are asked to contact Area B Director Mickey Macri at 250-256-4560 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please contact Ryan Wainwright, SLRD Emergency Program Manager at 604-567-5663 or by email at email@example.com.