Phase one of a one million dollar project to help protect Barkerville Historic Town from a wildfire is now complete.

CEO of Barkerville Historic Town and Park, Ed Coleman said they had been working on fuel mitigation planning for the past three and a half years.

“It’s a 52-hectare section, and we started implementation last November and worked through it on the winter,” he said.

“We’re wrapping it up now, so we’re very happy with how that turned out because have a number of other sections to do to protect the town and park.”

Coleman added they received a lot of help with the project.

“We are truly proud of the many, many partners and forestry experts from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development, Heritage Branch, West Fraser Mills, Lhtako Dene Nation, and the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) who collaborated to develop a successful treatment on the landscape.”

Work according to a news release saw a fire access road built with a 10-meter fuel break on either side of the road done by machine. The area beyond was selectively harvested followed by machine and hand thinning, hand pruning and piling of residual fuel. The residual fuel piles will be chipped or ground and trucked to Cariboo Pulp and Paper for hog fuel.

In 2017 a wildfire traveling at four and a half kilometers per day came within just 12 kilometers of the historic site.