FIRE MAKES A HEALTHY FOREST
West Coast Vancouver Island Prescribed Fire Program
Fire is an important process across many landscapes. In an effort to re-establish the important role that prescribed fire has on Vancouver Island, a workshop was held in Port Alberni on October 22, 2016 as supported by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Guide Outfitters Association of BC, and the Maanulth Wildlife Council. This initial workshop focused discussion around the establishment of a prescribed fire program for the west coast of Vancouver Island with the possibility of a pilot project being launched in the Nahmint Valley.
An essential element of this specific project is to create partnerships between guide outfitters, trappers, First Nations, resident hunters, industry, and government officials to work collaboratively on ungulate enhancement. By cooperatively working on a wildlife enhancement program, users develop relationships, strengthen the commitment to stewardship, and become more educated on protection and enhancement techniques and issues.
Use of prescribed fire on Vancouver Island
Using the case study of the Kiyu Creek Prescribed Fire which was conducted in May 2007, Pete Laing, RFT provides a broad overview of planning and site implications as well as key considerations in the use of prescribed fire for ungulate enhancement on Vancouver Island. He includes key site characteristics which should be avoided when prescribing this treatment including sites with shallow soils and irregular cut block boundaries. He also lists liability considerations such as cost overruns, fringe damage and difficulty in mop-up especially on steeper sites.
Wildfire & Fuel Hazard Management on Vancouver Island Karst
This discussion/opinion paper written by Pete Laing RFT, contains specific information about wildfire and fuel hazard management on karst, specifically on Vancouver Island. Karst is a unique, non-renewable resource with significant biological, hydrological, mineralogical, scientific, cultural, recreational, and economic values. Most karst on Vancouver Island is sensitive to surface fire when compared to karst in other regions of BC due to thin organic soil layers. When prescribing the use of fire for ungulate habitat enhancement on Vancouver Island areas it is important to understand the impact that this treatment can have on sensitive karst ecosystems.