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Wildfire Fuel Treatment project underway on Cortes Island

Work clearing brush, thinning trees to take place near Cortes Recycling Centre
Work is being done to ensure Cortes Island is more resilient to wildfires. Photo courtesy BC Wildfire Service

The Strathcona Regional District is getting Cortes Island ready for next year’s wildfire season by clearing flammable brush from near the island’s recycling centre.

The process is called Wildfire Fuel Treatment, and involves modifying the forest to reduce the amount of fuel available to burn. This can include thinning trees, pruning branches, removing brush and other practices. The goal is to manage the amount of fuel, which would then reduce the potential for loss of life, property and infrastructure.

“The SRD was successful in obtaining $70,000 in grant funding through the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) Firesmart Economic Recovery grant to fully fund this wildfire mitigation work across four hectares,” said SRD Chair Mark Baker.

The first stages of the project were to under go a traditional use survey and field reconnaissance with the Tla’amin First Nation.

“This project would not have been possible without the support of important stakeholders such as BC Wildfire Service, Tla’amin First Nation, Cortes Island Fire Department and the Cortes Forestry General Partnership, which is operated by the Cortes Community Forest Co-op and Klahoose Forestry No. 2 Limited Partnership,” Baker said.

“We know wildland fires will occur; as they are a natural part of our ecosystem,” said SRD Protective Services Coordinator Shaun Koopman. “These are steps we can take to mitigate the impact in our community and increase safety for residents and firefighters.”

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