On November 21, 2022 the Strathcona Regional District is commencing Wildfire Fuel Treatment on 4 hectares Crown Land by the Cortes Island Recycling Centre, as identified in the 2020 Cortes Island Wildfire Resiliency Plan. The project is expected to take several weeks to complete. Wildfire Fuel Treatment is the process of modifying forest to reduce the fuels available to burn. This can involve thinning out of trees, pruning branches, removing brush and other best practices. The primary objective is to manage hazardous wildfire fuels at the landscape level thus reducing the potential for loss of life, property and infrastructure. Before proceeding to the Wildfire Fuel Treatment stage a Traditional Use Survey and Preliminary Field Reconnaissance was undertaken in collaboration with the Tla’amin First Nation. More information about the specific work that will be undertaken can be viewed on the project’s webpage at www.srd.ca/cortes-wildfire-treatment
We were successful in obtaining $70,000 in grant funding through the Community Resiliency Investment FireSmart Economic Recovery grant to fully fund the wildfire mitigation work. 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 Cortes Forestry General Partnership. In addition, property owners are encouraged to take proactive FireSmart actions on their properties to reduce flammable fuels. To find out more, visit www.firesmartbc.ca
Spring 2020 – The Cortes Island Community Wildfire Protection Plan is updated and this area is recommended as a suitable candidate for Wildfire Fuel Treatment. The this plan is available for viewing at https://srd.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/2020_Cortes_CWPP_FINAL.pdf
Winter 2020 – The Regional District, applies for, and receiving funding through the UBCM FireSmart Community & Funding Supports grant to develop a Wildfire Fuel Prescription for this area. A wildfire fuel prescription is a document that describes the recommended fuel treatment activities in an identified area that will reduce fire behaviour. It is expected that the post treatment stand conditions will result in reduced fire behaviour such as a decrease in fire intensity and the potential for sustained ignition. Fuel management prescriptions must ensure a cost effective and measurable reduction in expected fire behaviour with the consideration and management of other values on the landscape. A sound fuel management prescription follows three guiding principles: (1) it prescribes specific and measurable targets for fire behaviour reduction; (2) it contains site specific considerations; and (3) it aligns with other legal, resource management and non-statutory objectives including First Nation consultation requirements.
Spring 2021 – Regional District applies for, and receives funding through the UBCM FireSmart Economic Recovery grant to undertake Wildfire Fuel Treatment in this area. The condition set by this grant was funding for an area of less than 5 hectares that is in a visible public area.
Winter 2022 – Wildfire Fuel Treatment work commences.