A popular mountain biking site in need of trail maintenance will double as a training ground for firefighters.
BC Wildfire Service firefighters in the Sunshine Coast Fire Zone will be conducting trail work at Sprockids Provincial Recreation Site in Langdale in August and September, in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), Recreation Sites and Trails BC, and local mountain biking group Coast Mountain Bike Trail Association.
The trail improvement project, which will include the use of chainsaws, will give the firefighters “the opportunity to maintain their readiness for fire response by doing related work in forested areas,” according to Natasha Broznitsky, information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre.
“In general, projects that involve work with chainsaws can be an important venue to further develop firefighters’ ability to use chainsaws safely and effectively. Chainsaws are used for a variety of functions on wildfires, including to remove dangerous trees and to remove forest fuel adjacent to the fire’s perimeter.”
There are 14 operational staff involved in wildfire response in the Sunshine Coast fire zone, according to Broznitsky, including three initial attack crews, and most of them are expected to participate in the project over its lifespan.
Earlier this year the SCRD agreed to renew its partnership agreement with the province for the 48-hectare site, but with added maintenance and operations help from Coast Mountain Bike Trail Association, which is expected to perform the bulk of trail maintenance work.
Some trails will be closed to the public while the work is being conducted.