The horizon southwest of Vanderhoof may have an added glow and haze this next week. Forestry and fire scientists are using the Carrot Lake area to do some experiments on forest fires.
"The Carrot Lake research site was established in 2004 and is used to study how fire behaves in stands of trees affected by mountain pine beetle infestations," said Brennan Clarke, spokesman for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. "The site consists of 11 isolated blocks of lodgepole pine forest, ranging in size from one to four hectares. The blocks are surrounded by fireguards that contain no trees."
Controlled burns have been done frequently at the site for the past eight years.
"These types of controlled burns are closely monitored and the resulting data is analyzed to learn more about wildfire behavior, spread rates and patterns, and fuel consumption characteristics," said Clarke. "By learning more about fire behaviour in forests impacted by the mountain pine beetle, the Wildfire Management Branch can more effectively plan fire suppression responses and fuel management operations in similarly affected areas."
Clarke said fireguards have been established around the entire burn site, which will be further protected by sprinkler lines to prevent the fire from expanding beyond the test area. Furthermore, he said, "the burn will be closely monitored from start to finish by highly trained firefighting crews to ensure that it remains contained and has a minimal impact on the surrounding area."
The Carrot Lake experimental burn project site is about 70 kilometres south-southwest of Vanderhoof, off of the Kluskus Forest Service Road. The research project is a partnership between the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) branch of Natural Resources Canada, and Canfor.