West Kelowna parks to reduce wildfire fuels

Regional parks to undertake fuel modification starting Nov. 2.

Over the next several months, two large fuel modification projects will be completed in a couple of Central Okanagan Regional Parks.

Starting Monday, Nov. 2, crews will be removing dead and hazardous trees, ladder fuels, brushing vegetation and spacing trees on just over 15 ha throughout the southern portion of Glen Canyon Regional Park in West Kelowna.

This work is taking place from the trail entrances at Hebert and Brown Roads and Westbank Centre Park, south to the Gellatly Road parking area.

It’s also anticipated that starting in mid-November as conditions allow, several hundred piles of wood debris scattered along a 2.5-km section of Trepanier Creek Greenway Regional Park will be burned.  These dangerous and hazard trees were collected in the clean-up of the park and trail just outside Peachland following the 2012 Trepanier wildfire.

Be aware that trails through these various work areas may be temporarily closed. Park users are asked to watch for signs advising that trails are closed and that they stay out of any closed areas of the park. Where it is accessible for equipment, collected fire hazard wood debris will be chipped.

However, in areas where equipment is not able to reach, debris pile burning will be conducted in accordance with Air Quality and Open Burning regulations when either open burning is allowed in the region or venting and air quality are favourable with a custom site venting forecast from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Once a decision is made to proceed with burning on a particular day, local fire authorities, media and neighbourhood organizations will be advised.  The information will also be available on the Regional District website.

As well, residents are also reminded that during the winter months, when open burning is allowed, the BC Wildfire Management Branch may burn collected debris piles in a portion of Rose Valley Regional Park above Bear Creek Road off Bowes and Pettman Roads. Its crews removed hazard trees and brushing last year as part of a larger, ten-ha multi-year fuel modification project.

For more information visit the Regional District Parks Services webpage regionaldistrict.com/parks, email parks@cord.bc.ca or call 250-469-6232.