More than 1,200 km of firebreaks were constructed within the area of the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017. Photo: Tara Sprickerhoff/100 Mile Free Press

More than 1,200 km of firebreaks were constructed within the area of the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017. Photo: Tara Sprickerhoff/100 Mile Free Press

TNRD receives funding to control and prevent invasive plants

Areas impacted by the 2017 wildfires will be the focus

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) recently received $990,000 from the Red Cross, which will provide funding for invasive plant control and prevention in areas of the TNRD impacted by last year’s wildfires. The funds will support continuing recovery initiatives over the next three years.

“The TNRD was aware that the Red Cross was looking for projects to fund,” says Jamie Vieira, the TNRD’s Manager of Environmental Health Services. “We put together a few proposals, and this one recently got approved.”

He says that approximately half the funding will go toward invasive plant control or prevention on private land, such as seeding and weed control. A quarter of the funds will go to control or prevention along Ministry of Transportation highways and roads, and a quarter will go to fund a program manager and administrative costs over three years.

A Request for Proposals has been issued for a Wildfire Recovery Manager to oversee the program operations and ensure effective outreach within the area affected. That area is any land within the TNRD that was impacted by the 2017 wildfires, particularly the area of the Elephant Hill wildfire.

Vieira notes that between the fires themselves and the impact on the land from firefighting activities such as the construction of firebreaks, a lot of private land was impacted. It is estimated that 1,290 km of firebreaks were constructed in the area covered by the Elephant Hill wildfire.

When he spoke with The Journal earlier this year, Kevin Boon, president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, said that he had asked the provincial government to start remediating the land disturbed by the firebreaks, before erosion and invasive species made the situation worse.

“The firebreaks have created 5,000 km of access [throughout the province], and people don’t necessarily understand the damage that can be done,” said Boon. He added that if people were going into the affected areas on foot or in vehicles, they could be spreading invasive species.

“If people drive through in trucks or quads, or even walk, they can pick up weeds and drag them for miles. It compounds the problem and creates another hazard, and we need to do some education. It’s a huge concern.”

Vieira says that the TNRD was aware of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association concerns.

“The fire manager will pound the pavement, find out the extent of the impacted areas, and see what’s needed. That person will be able to go to properties to assess them, make recommendations about seeding and control, and then we can fund it.”

He says that more information about the program will come when the manager is in place. “That person will be out there talking about specifics and seeing what’s needed. Are public meetings the best, or knocking on doors, or going to stockmans’ meetings?

“We have to find out the need. We know that a wildfire, and the work of fighting fires, such as increased traffic and post-fire work, as well as things like mushroom pickers going out, can spread invasive plants.”

He adds that if highways and roadways have healthy grass beside them that can keep down invasive plants. “But if a fire goes through it creates a disturbance. If a seed bed is there, you can expect to find invasive plants.”

Vieira says that spotted knapweed is still the invasive plant that’s of most concern in the lower areas and grasslands of the region, and a top concern for the cattle industry. “We’ll target that, but will look at any noxious weeds.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual Internet speeds in BC communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

Fireworks are among the things now banned throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, as the weather heats up and a dry summer looms. (Photo credit: Black Press files)
Category 2 and 3 open fires, fireworks now banned in Kamloops Fire Centre

Ban on certain types of fires and fire activities in place until Oct. 15

Cache Creek Village office, date unknown. (Photo credit: Wendy Coomber)
Cache Creek eyes water conservation bylaw as usage increases

Water bylaw was considered in 2019 but did not move forward

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

Most Read