Too soon to assess timber damage: province

Over 70,000 hectares of Morice TSA fall within perimeters of wildfires

With the worst of the wildfire season now seemingly over, many people are concerned about what impact these wildfires are having on the timber that supply the region’s largest employers.

READ MORE: Worst may be over for ‘B.C.’s worst fire season’

According to the provincial government, however, it’s still too soon to assess the damage.

“The amount of timber volume impacted within these areas cannot be accurately determined until the fire damage is mapped and assessed,” explained the ministry in a statement. “It is too early to determine the potential impacts caused by the current wildfire season.”

The timber volume loss due to wildfires is estimated annually by the ministry, and accurate damage assessments for the Morice timber supply area (TSA) will be revised once the current wildfire season is over.

As of Sept. 3, 2018, 72,504 hectares of the Morice TSA fall within the perimeters of 2018 wildfires; of this total area, 48,640 hectares are classified as timber harvesting land base.

Michelle Ward, Canfor’s director of corporate communications, also says it’s too early to know what the impact will be for their Houston mill.

“Canfor is still focused on supporting the firefighting efforts and hoping that this wildfire season comes to an end soon,” she told Houston Today.

When asked about the local rumours saying the mill would shut down because it’s running out of timber, Ward said these rumours are “unfounded.”

“Our Houston mill is continuing to operate,” she said.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said timber supply is one of the main concerns he has heard from local residents.

“The feds need to understand that the biggest economic leg on our table just got hammered,” said Cullen. “We just lost a lot of wood, and in places like Burns Lake, Houston and Fort St. James, that has to be figured out.”

Mills in the Lakes TSA are anticipating some damage to their timber supply.

According to Steve Zika, Chief Executive Officer of Hampton Lumber – company that owns Babine and Decker Lake Forest Products, this year’s wildfires will “definitely have a negative effect” on lumber availability in the Lakes District. But he agrees that it is too early to make any estimates on the actual effect.

“We, like everyone else are just praying for rain,” he told Black Press last month.

As of Sept. 3, 2018, 175,770 hectares of the Lakes TSA fall within the perimeters of 2018 wildfires; of this total area, 47,780 hectares are classified as timber harvesting land base.

B.C.’s current wildfire season is now considered the province’s worst wildfire season on record, with over 1.2 million hectares burned.

READ MORE: 2018 now B.C.’s worst wildfire season on record


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

Regional District approved for business liaison grant to assist with COVID-19 recovery

Grant offers each of the northern development regions up to $75,000 in funding

Lines getting painted

June 25 the Houston Mall had their parking lot painted with parking… Continue reading

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read