Prescribed burns to help restore Garry oak ecosystems
The BC Wildfire Service plans to conduct two prescribed burns in the Maple Bay and Metchosin areas of Vancouver Island to reduce wildfire risks, manage flammable vegetation on the landscape and help restore Garry oak ecosystems.
The two controlled burns will be lit sometime in September or October 2019, when site and weather conditions are favourable.
Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve (off Maple Bay Road)
- This 1.5-hectare prescribed burn will be conducted in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, about six kilometres northeast of Duncan.
- The project will be completed in three stages, burning half a hectare at a time.
- The Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve is a unique ecosystem that is home to Canada’s largest recorded Garry oak tree.
Rocky Point, Metchosin (Canadian Armed Forces base)
- This 20-hectare prescribed burn will be conducted in conjunction with the Department of National Defence, with the assistance of the Department of National Defence’s fire department. The burn site is about three kilometres southeast of Pedder Bay Marina.
- This project will be completed in three stages.
- The Rocky Point property is one of the best examples of a Garry oak ecosystem on southern Vancouver Island.
Both of these sites are within the coastal Douglas fir biogeoclimatic zone. They contain notable populations of rare plants and animals that are studied by researchers from throughout North America.
Historically, First Nation communities maintained the grassy plains at these sites by burning off dry grasses, shrubs and young trees that are less tolerant of fire than Garry oaks. These ecosystems relied on regular, low-intensity ground fires to limit the spread of competing tree species, remove accumulations of dead wood and other vegetation, and promote new growth. Fire-resistant Garry oak and mature Douglas fir trees would have survived such fires and herbaceous plants would have vigorously re-sprouted after the fire had passed through.
Reintroducing fire into these areas is an effective way to promote natural regenerative processes, control invasive species and slow the encroachment of conifer trees into these specialized ecosystems. Prescribed burns also help reduce wildfire risks by reducing the amount of fuels available to burn.
These two prescribed burn projects will provide valuable data that will assist with the expansion of the prescribed burning program into other pockets of Garry oak ecosystems, ensuring they are maintained as part of the region’s natural history.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
Follow the latest wildfire news:
Wed, Jul 21, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: On the Upper Peterson Creek Trails
Tue, Jul 20, 2021 at 4:10 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: The climate is changing rapidly, but the oil industry isn’t
Sat, Jul 17, 2021 at 5:00 pm - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Stake Lake Loops – Kamloops Trails
Thu, Jul 15, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Big Pine Nature Hike – Kamloops Trails
Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 9:40 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Blueberry River First Nations court victory offers path to reconciliation
Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Along the Red Plateau Escarpment Rim
Fri, Jul 9, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Hiking the Wounded Knee Trail
Wed, Jul 7, 2021 at 9:00 am - Doug Smith posted on their blog: Hiking in the McQueen Lake Area
Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 4:28 pm - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Reparation, land and justice for Indigenous Peoples is long overdue
Thu Jul 1 to Tue Aug 31 Music in the Park
Thu Jul 29 Artist Coffee – Virtual Meet Up
Wed Aug 25 Renovate Smart Kamloops Virtual Home Energy Performance Workshop
Thu Aug 26 Artist Coffee – Virtual Meet Up
Sat Sep 11 to Sun Sep 12 Parkinson SuperWalk
Tue Sep 28 Renovate Smart Kamloops Virtual Home Energy Performance Workshop