(Files by Brendan Pawliw)
The General Manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association says some of the aftereffects of the 2017 wildfires are still being felt following the recent flooding in the West Chilcotin.
A flood warning for the Chilcotin River was downgraded on Saturday to a high streamflow advisory on the heels of a 100 millimetre rainfall drenching hayfields and causing flooding.
Kevin Boon explained to Vista Radio what’s been discovered by ranchers following the historical rain event.
“There has been significant silt and ash brought down from the 2017 wildfires and have covered a lot of the hayfields so there’s certainly going to be an impact on the amount of hay that is available for these ranchers to take off, that’s going to be our biggest concern.”
“We run into concerns even if that land hay is able to harvested with the amount of silt and stuff as it can get into the hay and back into the stomach of the cows so we’ll have to watch quality there as well.”
Boon understands the top priority remains on assessing what needs to be done for the ranchers first when it comes to the repair and restoration.
“Once that water subsides enough, to be able to get into those areas that have been flooded and restore the damage as there is going to be significant erosion, there’s going to be some change in courses to the creeks and rivers.”
So why has the aftermath of the wildfire season been so prevalent after this massive rainstorm storm?
“It’s always the same when you’re looking at these slides when we don’t have the vegetation back in full swing yet it’s one of the reasons we really advocate for grass seeding to get something going on those grasslands after a fire but also all of that ash from all of the needles, the trees, the grass settles and embeds itself on the ground and it will wash away.”
“So it’s exposed soil and ash that’s around and it will remain for quite a while unless we get something to bring it down.”