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Reducing fuels in the forest helps protect RDCK communities

Debri Resources of Nelson has completed 10 of 22 hectares of the project near Edgewood. — Photo courtesy RDCK

The Regional District of Central Kootenay, through funding provided through Strategic Wildfire Initiative Program administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, is doing its best to protect communities from wildfires in the district.

The RDCK is guarding against possible wildfires by reducing fuel loads in forested areas in specific areas of the district.
 
“Fuel management projects can also increase the availability and diversity of wildlife habitat  through the restoration of open forest conditions,” said Noreen Clayton, emergency program coordinator with the RDCK, in a prepared statement.

One area on the RDCK radar is the Edgewood, where a fuel management project has been underway since November 2014.

Debri Resources of Nelson is the contractor and have completed have 10 of 22 hectares.   
 
Clayton said 10-year old Edgewood resident Aslin Holberg says she now calls the area behind her school the ‘enchanted forest’ because her classmates can cross- country ski and take nature photographs there now.
 
Work is also continuing on a 10-hectare parcel of Crown land in Kingsgate with Cranbrook’s Strategic Reforestation’s eight-member crew completing four hectares to date.   
 
Projects in Arrow Creek and Balfour were completed in December. A total of 53 hectares will have been treated in Arrow Creek, Balfour, Edgewood, and Kingsgate by the end of April.  
 
The Columbia Basin Trust and the Regional District of Central Kootenay have also provided funding.