Extensive wildfire mitigation work is underway on Crown land just outside Prince Albert in the RM of Buckland. It is part of fire smart clean-up efforts to help prevent the spread of fires and to create staging areas for crews in the event of a blaze.
The work in the Nisbet Provincial Forest is happening on Whitfield Road near the Fire Hall, across the highway from Kachur’s Golf Club along Mcleod Drive, and also around the city’s landfill site.
“It is a fire break or fuel break and we are harvesting it,” Bruce Walter, area forester with the Ministry of Environment told paNOW. “The intent is to reduce the amount of fuel in strategic locations so in the event of a wildfire we’ll be able to fight it.”
Crews are taking out the near hundred-year-old jack pine while retaining other species such as the poplar and spruce. According to Walter the pine is prone to wildfire and “has evolved to adapt to fire as it requires the fire’s heat to open its cones to spread seeds.” He said it takes about 20 years to regenerate.
Walter explained the work should be finished in another month with the ministry taking advantage of the various timber crews’ availability with wet conditions up North hampering forestry efforts there. The timber will be processed for saw logs and sent to the Big River mill, and some of it will be used for fence posts and fire wood.
“There are a lot of homes close to or in the forest and this is one step we can take to make it safe and to give us a place to fight these fires,” Walter said.” It’s also an opportunity to regenerate the forest as it’s over a 100 years old.”
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