2013-06-17

B.C. must find ways to reduce risk of wildfire hazards

E.C. Manning Provincial Park is a ticking time bomb and one of these years it’s going to go off.

Once over Allison Pass, the effect of the mountain pine beetle infestation that has resulted in the death of a large proportion of the mature lodgepole pine in the park becomes readily apparent.

In the decade since the epidemic began, many of the trees killed by the beetle have fallen to the forest floor. The post-beetle forest now presents a significant wildfire threat: very large accumulation of fuels on the forest floor; fuels staying dryer longer because they are not in contact with soil or grass; the forest floor receives much more direct sunlight resulting in higher temperatures and lower relative humidity; and, fewer trees means higher winds at the level of the forest floor drying out the fuels.