Ministry plans prescribed burn for Houston area for October

Hopes to reduce wildfire risk

The Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development (FLNRORD) has announced a prescribed burn for the Houston area to reduce wildfire risk.

In a press release sent out by the Northwest Fire Centre, it said that this activity will be conducted to reduce the risk of wildfire impacting the community of Houston. The BC Wildfire Service, along with the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia would undertake this prescribed burn in a time period between September and the end of October.

According to Carolyn Bartos, a communication specialist with the Northwest Fire Centre, the prescribed burn has not yet started in the area. “This is all weather-dependent and if they get a weather-window with the indices matching up, then they will start the burn.”

Bartos also said that the time period given from mid-September to October allows for an estimated time allowance which means that this activity could be conducted anytime in this time period, depending on weather conditions appropriate to ensure safety, meet objectives and allow for adequate smoke dispersal.

The District of Houston has identified an area approximately 7.5 kilometres southwest of Houston between Buck Flats Road and the Morice Forest Service Road as a wildfire threat to the community and that’s the area that would see the prescribed burn. The total amount of land outlined for the broadcast burning, a method where the fire carries through unpiled debris over a prescribed area, is 230 hectares sectioned off into ten separate parcels of land.

The intention of implementing prescribed fire to these areas is to remove residual slash left-over after harvesting and reduce fuel load that, in the event of a wildfire, could lead to more intense fire behaviour and added difficulty and danger to suppression efforts.

The long-term goal for the project is to promote a stand conversion from coniferous trees to deciduous while reducing the availability of fire fuels. This will reduce the threat of a wildfire ignition within the area as well as assist wild-land and urban fire professionals to fight a wildfire that approaches the community.

BC Wildfire Service personnel will monitor the fire at all times. Smoke may be visible from Houston and surrounding areas.

For more information about prescribed fire, please visit:

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1-888-3-FOREST, visit or download the new BC Wildfire Service app.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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