Working with the Ministry of Forests and Simpcw Band Entrepreneurs, the Forestry Department at Simpcw Resources Group is preparing, submitting, and implementing rehabilitation plans for several wildfires that burned near Clearwater and Vavenby, BC. This rehabilitation project aims to rehabilitate fireguards established during wildfire suppression efforts conducted during the 2021 wildfire season.
As part of the Wildfire Act and the Wildfire Regulation, rehabilitation measures are implemented through a site-specific rehabilitation plan aimed to mitigate fuel hazards, maintain natural drainage patterns, minimize erosion by water control, and stabilize exposed mineral soil. By carrying out these measures on fireguards, the environmental risk associated with fire ignition, fire spreading, and surface erosion can be mitigated. As seen by the devastating mudslides that occurred in November 2021, water run-off over these denuded soils can create hazardous conditions for life, property, and infrastructure. Using both mechanical techniques and reseeding measures, rehabilitation of the fireguards helps promote the regrowth of vegetation within these disturbed areas to help prevent future soil erosion.
Fireguard rehabilitation activities commenced in November 2021 and continued until weather required an operational shutdown for the winter. In the spring of 2022, rehabilitation activities will resume until all fireguards have been rehabilitated.
Fireguard rehabilitation is a collaborative endeavor during all stages of the project. Stakeholders involved in this project include the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations; Simpcw Resources Group; and Simpcw First Nation. In addition, Simpcw member-owned businesses are involved in the project, participating in the rehabilitation construction work. The band entrepreneurs involved are G.L. Lampreau Contracting Ltd. and Eco Sense Holdings Ltd.
The benefits of this rehabilitation work are both environmental and economic. The community benefits by not only reducing environmental risks within Simpcw traditional territory, but also providing job opportunities for Band Entrepreneurs within the Thompson Rivers Natural Resource District.