Sunday, August 26, 2012

CARL CREEK FIRE 2 - UPDATE

Thank you to the Lillooet Fire Zone Office - Verne Rasmussen for this update.

The purpose of this note is to advise you of our considerations for a small fire above the community of Bralorne.  The fire was started by lightning a number of days ago.  With the continued drying the fire has perked up putting up smoke.  Approx size is 20 x20 m (0.05 ha) burning decadent balsam/ spruce and deciduous.  Fire is located at an elevation of 1850 M (6100 feet).   Currently we have a few options to consider for this incident.  These are full response (which means moving in  crews with resources) or a modified response (which means that the fire is to monitored for a period of time).

At this moment, the decision is to monitor this fire for a period of time till the local weather brings significant changes. Our hopes are that the weather in the next few days will bring increased precipitation, relative humidities and cooler temperatures.  If this incident shows the potential of any significant growth towards the community of Bralorne and the adjacent values , a decision to consider a full response plan will be activated.

As mentioned, we will be monitoring this incident daily.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Lillooet Fire Zone (250 256 1400) or the Kamloops Fire Centre (250 554 5500).

Friday, August 24, 2012

FREE Wood Waste Collection at Transfer Station

The local Firesmart Committee and the SLRD have teamed up to provide FREE wood waste collection on a pilot project basis.


Please find information here:   http://www.slrd.bc.ca/siteengine/activepage.asp?NewsID=286

This is an awesome new initiative that will hopefully stop the accumulation of "piles" from people's properties that have been springing up all over the Bridge River Valley.

This is an opportunity to dispose of your woodwaste safely!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

UPDATE: Invasive Species Cleanup

Invasive Species Spotted at Gun Lake

The sharp eyes of Irene Calbick have spotted patches of Canada Thistle around Gun Lake. 

Over 30 hours of volunteer time were contributed to pulling and chopping the Canada Thistle from 2 locations around Gun Lake:

1.       Both sides of W. Gun Lake Rd. – LaJoie(Little Gun) Lake to Lakeview/W.GunLakeRd.Junction
2.       S.Gun Lake Rd. (north junction with Lakeview Rd.) down to Denman Rd., and along both sides of Denman Rd.

While our volunteers have done this as a stop gap measure, ongoing noxious weed control needs to be done on these two patches next year.   There are other spots that have the Canada Thistle as well on Lakeview & W. Gun Lake Rd and we will continue to identify and address these patches as possible.  It needs to be noted that these patches are all on public road sides.

I have written both Min. of Transportation and Interior Roads asking what their plans are for ongoing action to control this invasive specie's spread around Gun Lake.

If you find this plant - chop it, pull it and bag it and take it to the transfer station.  If you would like more information on what you think might be an invasive email lrinvasives@gmail.com



Thank you so much to the community volunteers for taking on this "prickly" job!
Here are two links to information on this invasive plant:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/103224397

http://www.scribd.com/doc/103224404

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is recognized as a noxious weed in BC and it can be a problem given the space to spread.  Canada thistle does show up throughout BC and is often associated with roadside, livestock grazing, logging clearings etc.. and can be spread in many ways including in hay.  Regionally we have Canada Thistle listed a species that is "A High Priority For Control".
There are a number of other thistles included several native species so correct identification should be made.  Canada thistle has relatively small flower heads and it has rhizomes and is a perennial (it spreads via underground runners to form patches as well as by seeds and lives for a number of years).  Cutting the plants is a good option as suggested in the email, though this will need to be repeated several times throughout the year as the plants will resprout.  Ideally plants should be cut before flowering and if they are in flower it is important not to spread the seeds and to bag the cut seed heads or cut material for proper disposal.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

FIRES IN HURLEY RIVER RD. AREA IN MOP UP

All the fires started in the area of the Hurley this weekend were held to 0.1 - 0.3 ha, and are either out or in mop up. The Lillooet Fire Zone has actioned all fires with tanker support to hold the line as crews made their way back into the bush.

We have just had another report (which was phoned in to 1-800-663-5555 - awesome!) in the vicinity of Carl Creek near Bralorne.  This fire, on upper Carl Creek near the trappers cabin was auctioned by Bralorne residents and initial attack crews.  It was a rank 2. .2 hectare , as of last night was in mop up.   

Update:  Wednesday, Aug 22nd.  A sixth spot fire was spotted very high up the Carl Creek drainage yesterday.  The two initial attack crews hiked the 1.3 km up the steep terrain and are guarding the spot fire.

I am so impressed by the work of our local volunteers at Gun Lake and Bralorne, our fire wardens and other Wildfire Management Staff, our SLRD Emergency Program Manager, Ryan Wainwright and these very tough, hard working initial attack crews.  Their combined efforts have kept this area safe from wildfire since those nasty thunderstorms last week.  6 fires put out!    On behalf of our community - Thank You!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

UPDATE: Spruce Budworm Information Meeting and Other News

Spruce Budworm Information Meeting

Monday, September 3 at 10 am, Gold Bridge Community Club
with

Lorraine Maclauchlan
Forest Entomologist, Thompson Okanagan Region

Lorraine is the Regional Expert on the spruce budworm and other insects in forests.


She will be able to provide current information on the infestation in the Bridge River Valley including Gun Lake, Tyaughton Lake and Marshall Lake.  She will have some specific current information although egg collection work will be done in September and October.

Lorraine will also cover mitigation including spraying programs.

A great deal of information can be accessed at:  http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/rsi/ForestHealth/index.htm.



Invasive Species Spotted at Gun Lake

The sharp eyes of Irene Calbick have spotted patches of Canada Thistle around Gun Lake. 
Here are two links to information on this invasive plant:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/103224397

http://www.scribd.com/doc/103224404

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is recognized as a noxious weed in BC and it can be a problem given the space to spread.  Canada thistle does show up throughout BC and is often associated with roadside, livestock grazing, logging clearings etc.. and can be spread in many ways including in hay.  Regionally we have Canada Thistle listed a species that is "A High Priority For Control".
There are a number of other thistles included several native species so correct identification should be made.  Canada thistle has relatively small flower heads and it has rhizomes and is a perennial (it spreads via underground runners to form patches as well as by seeds and lives for a number of years).  Cutting the plants is a good option as suggested in the email, though this will need to be repeated several times throughout the year as the plants will resprout.  Ideally plants should be cut before flowering and if they are in flower it is important not to spread the seeds and to bag the cut seed heads or cut material for proper disposal.


Community Effort Lifts up and Helps Crane Creek Debris Flow Property

Approximately 60 hours of manual volunteer labor and 16 hours of machine time have been donated to assist in the cleanup following the Crane Creek Debris Flows.  Thank you to everyone who helped out and showed what a great community we have here.  Special thanks go to Valley Hardware & Store and Heather Leighton for donating food, John Leighton for donating transportation of excavator, Albi Enterprises for donating machine time and manpower.  If I haven't mentioned you forgive me and know that your efforts made a huge difference to these folks!!!


Before


After

Before


After






















Woodstove Exchange Program Now Available in Bridge River Valley

The Sea to Sky Clean Air Society currently operates a woodstove exchange program for Electoral Areas C and D of the SLRD including Whistler and Squamish.  The program will now include Electoral Area A & B and Lillooet residents.  The old woodstoves can be dropped off at the Lillooet Landfill and a receipt gotten, or the attendant can sign the tracking form.    The Sea to Sky Clean Air website does not have the up to date info on the recent expansion yet  but the program is operational and questions can be directed to Ian Holl, iholl@slrd.bc.ca


Thank you to Ian Holl, SLRD Staff Member for taking this initiative!!!!


Our favorite topic:  Roads

On July 30 I did a tour with Ministry of Transportation Area Manager, Brad Bushill and Operations Manager, Dan Palesch.  It was an informative tour and knowledge was gained by all of us.

Some key points from the tour:
   *the road we call the E. Hurley, in MOT language is actually a continuance of the Hurley River Rd.
   *the East Hurley is classed as an 8 public road.  This classification does not receive maintenance but must be kept in passable state.  Interior Roads initially did not accept this as part of their responsibility but apparently does now.  If road is not passable, they are to fix it.
   *the section of the Hurley River Rd. from steel bridge to just over summit is classified a 7, which means one grade/year
   *Brad and Dan encouraged me to get a traffic counter on this road next year to establish if level of traffic warrants an upgrade on that classification
   *Brad is investigating if 1)grading can be done earlier as community has requested and 2)if dust control could be applied which would provide for base stablizaiton
   *I pushed the point with both of them that snow removal in May does not need to be the full road bed, one lane plus pull outs is sufficient
   *I made the point that enhanced signage is necessary for communicating what type of road the Hurley River Rd is (wilderness).
   *Rd. 40 has some signficant erosion issues along Carpenter Lake.  Thus far, MOT has not been given permission to put rip-rap in by Min of Environment due to the fact the Carpenter Lake Resevoir is "fish-bearing".
  *Both Brad and Dan reinforced with me the difficult they have managing their budget which contains Rd. 40, the actual main highway route into the valley AND the Hurley.  For my part I reinforced that the Hurley River Rd. is the key summer access to the area and needs to be maintained at an adequate, albeit wilderness, road standard.
 
I will be meeting with the Min. of Transportation, Blair Lekstrom at UBCM and will continue to 1)press home the importance of appropriately maintained roads accessing our area and 2)upgrade in maintenance levels are needed on the Entire Hurley River Rd.

In the meantime, if you have a complaint about a road, the most effective current mechanism is
www.interiorroads.com and click feedback and fill in the form.  This form goes to all Interior Roads management and quality control as well as Ministry officials.  Response to these submitted forms is tracked so please, please, please if you must write letters to the paper but ALSO submit to this website.
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