Controlled burns being conducted in the region

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is planning controlled burns near Fort St. John and Chetwynd between now and June 7.

The burns are an attempt to increase the quality of range for hooved animals like moose, deer and elk, by prompting the growth of new, better forage.

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“The introduction of high-intensity prescribed burns in the spring is intended to help restore natural grasslands and early seral [maturing] habitat,” the ministry said in a release.

The burns are planned for areas near Fort St. John, Bear Flat and Wilder Creek, Red Creek, Moberly River and Pine River.

There’s also one scheduled for Coldstream Creek, 30 kilometers east of Chetwynd.

The ministry warned that smoke from these burns could be visible from Fort St. John, Chetwynd and Hudson’s Hope, but promised that they would be closely monitored.

The ministry said this year’s burns will cover 10,000 hectares, as opposed to last year’s planned burns which the ministry said would cover 47,000 hectares.

Some of the ungulate species that benefit are stone’s sheep, mountain goats, mule deer, elk, moose, and wood bison.

Funding for the burns comes from the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, the North Peace Rod and Gun Club, the Northern B.C. Guides Association and the Northeast B.C. Wildlife Fund.                           

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