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What was that smoke around Sechelt week?

SCCF used rare chance to remove forest debris
Locations of the current prescribed fires within the SCCF.

As the weather has shifted back into a regular fall pattern, the Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) has an opportunity to burn some long-waiting debris.

A news release from the SCCF release on Oct. 25, said that after years of anticipation, the weather forecast finally allowed for the prescribed burning.

A combination of an excellent venting index, and a very low fire danger rating made for favourable burning conditions in the designated areas.

The release said, “As we embark on this controlled burn, we're committed to adhering to the guidelines outlined in the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation, as outlined in the attached factsheet. Additionally, we're taking every precaution, drawing from the insights provided in the Wildfire factsheet.”

The SCCF noted in their release that the primary objective of prescribed fires is to proactively reduce the wildfire risk within the forest.  

Sara Zieleman, executive director at SCCF said that the community forest is often asked if they can provide information on their prescribed burns ahead of time so that people can plan recreation around it.

She explained that there are usually only a handful of days a year where conditions are good enough to prescribe a burn and that because of this they are unable to plan the prescriptions far in advance – often making the decision to burn that same day.

“It has to be wet enough that it's not a fire hazard for the fire spreading. And also the right atmospheric conditions for the smoke to go up and away. And that venting index is published by the province,” Zieleman said. 

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.