More than three million dollars over three years.
That’s how much money Quesnel has received in provincial funding for fuel management according to Erin Robinson, the Forestry Initiative Manager with the City.
“This allows us to thin and space trees, do controlled burning, clear debris away from the forest using machines and hand crews, and this allows us to reduce the risk of wildfire but also, once wildfires start, it allows the crews to get in and fight those fires quickly.”
Robinson says fuel management work has now been done on approximately 240 hectares.
“It’s a pretty significant portion of what needs to be done with the Community Wildfire Protection boundaries. The previous ten year plan that the city was involved in, just 25 hectares was done because it is administratively very difficult to get this work off the ground, and it is costly. So it might seem that not a lot of hectares has been done, but in the fuel management world we’ve actually done pretty well.”
Still, Robinson says more work is needed.
“We have another I think around 260 hectares of shelf ready prescriptions, and that’s an important thing for the public to understand. The planning and the strategic level work that goes into making fuel management prescriptions and getting prescribed fires ready to burn, it can sometimes take years.”
Robinson says all of this important work takes various orders of government and indigenous collaboration.
She says they have funding requests in to do some of the shelf ready prescriptions.
“We’re always in a stage of applying for money. That’s from various initiatives like Forest Enhancement BC, the Community Resilience Investment Program, Wildfire Risk Reduction, so it’s really cobbling together all of those different funding pots for that 3 million.”
All of this work is done under the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which also expands into the Cariboo Regional District.