Vernon Fire Rescue Services will conduct a controlled burn in the Foothills area Friday, April 16. (City of Vernon photo)

Vernon Fire Rescue Services will conduct a controlled burn in the Foothills area Friday, April 16. (City of Vernon photo)

UPDATED: Controlled Foothills burn cancelled

Vernon Fire Rescue Services had planned for a controlled burn in Foothills on Friday, April 16

UPDATED WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 11:18 a.m.: The City of Vernon has issued a release saying due to unforeseen circumstances, the burn will not be taking place this week. As mentioned below by Vernon Fire Rescue Services, these types of projects require many specific conditions to be met and plans can change quickly. That is all the information being released at this time.

ORIGINAL STORY

Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) would like to advise residents that wildland fuel management work is scheduled to take place in the Foothills area this week.

The work is part of an ongoing effort to reduce wildfire risks in the community.

On Friday, April 16, residents may see smoke from a prescribed burn on a 10-hectare parcel of city-owned land in the Foothills. The work will be conducted by a qualified contractor and will only take place if weather and fuel conditions are appropriate.

“We started the Foothills fuel management project in 2019,” said Fire Chief David Lind. “First, we cleaned up the site by removing debris and thinning out the trees and vegetation.

“In July 2020, small pile burning was conducted to deal with some of the woody fibre that had been generated from the thinning of overgrown areas, and now it’s time to conduct a prescribed burn to manage fine fuels and return to the area to a more natural state.”

Controlled burn projects require specific criteria to be met to maintain the safety of those doing the work and everyone else in the area – this includes the need to have the right weather conditions to reduce the impact of smoke on the region – so timing is of the essence.

The qualified contractor will carefully prepare, control and monitor the fire at all times and VFRS firefighters will be on-site regularly and will remain in close contact with the contractor.

“I have full confidence in the team doing this work,” said Lind. “It will be done in compliance with all provincial and federal regulations and conducted in a safe, controlled and responsible manner.”

Only one day of burn activity is expected to take place, followed by two days of patrolling the area for hot spots, however, the schedule may be adjusted due to weather and site conditions.

During the day, residents in the Foothills area will want to keep their windows closed to prevent smoke from getting inside their homes. The fire will be extinguished before the contractor leaves the site when windows can be opened again.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity and burning restrictions in British Columbia, visit bcwildfire.ca. To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or toll-free *5555 on a cellphone. To report a local fire or emergency, please call 911.

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