A local forest fire is about to break out. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations knows this because their staff will be starting the fire and directing its flames. They are targeting a 200-hectare parcel of woodland near Lintz Lake, located about 75 kms southwest of Prince George and the same distance southeast of Vanderhoof, alongside the Pelican
Forest Service Road.
The prescribed burn is to "remove dead or damaged trees and prepare the ground for reforestation," according to ministry spokesman Brennan Clarke.
It is officially scheduled to happen today but Clarke said "This controlled fire will only proceed if wind and weather conditions are favourable."
The Lintz Lake recreation site will be closed until Oct. 31 to allow for the preparation and completion of this work.
"Public safety will be the top priority during this controlled burn," said Clarke. "The fire will be ignited and closely monitored by trained Wildfire Management crews to ensure that it remains contained and has a minimal impact on the surrounding region. Smoke will be visible in the Lintz Lake area during the burning period, which could last several days."
Controlled burns have been a forest health practice used for decades by the ministry. This particular prescribed burn is part of the provincial government's Forests For Tomorrow reforestation program, which was established in 2005 in response to the mountain pine beetle epidemic and the catastrophic wildfires that occurred in the B.C. Interior in 2003.
"One of the primary objectives of the program is to improve B.C.'s timber supply through research, timber analysis, strategic planning and silviculture," Clarke explained. "Another goal is to reduce wildfire threats in forested areas by removing dead or beetle-damaged trees - either physically or through controlled burning - clearing out brush and wood debris, and encouraging the growth of healthy young trees."