FireSmart and the Birchwood Trails
Pictured above is the scene of a controlled burn on the Birchwood Trails Dec. 18. (Click image for larger view.)
Birchwood Trails and the FireSmart Project.
FireSmart Photo Gallery
Map: FireSmart Work Plan
Map: Firewood Pickup Locations
FireSmart preventative measures lessen the threat and effects of wildfires. Preventing wildfires is a responsibility that extends to all of our community-residents, government, and industry, alike.
Infinite Forestry Consulting Ltd. has been contracted by the Municipality to perform FireSmart measures along the exterior edge of Birchwood Trails.
This particular work addresses the potential for a wildfire by decreasing the amount of vegetation that may fuel it. This will be accomplished by thinning and pruning trees, constructing fuel breaks and removal of debris; this is not a clear cutting operation. As a result of this project, timber will be made available to residents for firewood.
Residents can expect to see work crews and small machinery at various locations over the length of Birchwood Trails. Also, be aware that debris will be removed through controlled burns that will be monitored continuously to minimize smoke and for safety.
Selection of Infinite Forestry Consulting Ltd. was based on their years of experience executing FireSmart preventative measures in places such as Slave Lake, High Level, and Yellowhead. Infinite Forestry Consulting Ltd. approaches vegetation management with respect for the environmental and aesthetic benefits of mixed wood forest.
While using Birchwood Trails, residents are asked to use caution, observe signs and heed any directions from work crews.
Controlled Burns in Wood Buffalo
Infinite Forestry Consulting will be conducting controlled burns of tree clearing debris across the Birchwood Trails system. These burns reduce fuel in the area, decreasing the risk of wildfire. These burns are closely monitored to protect the surrounding area and keep them under control. Infinite Forestry Consulting Ltd. is sensitive to the concerns of residents and our recent wildfire experience. They will be taking extra precautions to monitor these necessary burns. Be aware that burns will only be ignited in favourable and safe conditions.
Mental Health Resources
While the FireSmart fuel reduction projects are active, fire and smoke from the controlled burns will be visible. This may cause concern or unexpected emotional triggers for individuals. The Municipality reminds residents that this is a natural reaction and that resources are available to help cope with stress.
Timber for firewood will be available to residents on a first-come, first-served basis. Harvested timber will be placed at the locations listed below for residents to collect and use as firewood. Timber can be found using the Firewood Locations Map.
To collect this wood, residents need to apply for a deadfall permit at the front desk of the Municipal office at the South Operations Centre (140 Airport Road, Fort McMurray). The customary $5 deadfall permit fee will be waived for firewood pickup from the Birchwood Trails firewood project. For more information, call the PULSE Line.
Firewood Pickup Locations
|C||Timberlea||Burton Place at Burrard Crescent|
|D||Timberlea||Brousseau Crescent at Brooks Place|
|E||Timberlea||Burns Place at Brousseau Crescent|
Phase 2A Work Plan
(The blocks in the schedule below can be located on the FireSmart Work Plan Map.)
|Block Number||Hectares||Estimated Work Days||Start Date||End Date|
|2||8.88||1||Jan. 3||Jan. 6|
|3||4.45||5||Jan. 7||Jan. 13|
|4||5.08||6||Feb. 21||Feb. 28|
|5 (A)||1.17||2||Feb. 19||Feb. 23|
|5 (B)||0.16||Completed (saw crew)|
|6||13.5||14||Feb. 5||Feb. 21|
|7||0.07||0.5||Feb. 4||Feb. 6|
|8||0.14||0.5||Feb. 4||Feb. 6|
|9||5.07||3||Jan. 4||Jan. 8|
|9||3.61||4||Jan. 31||Feb. 5|
|11||2.65||3||Feb. 27||March 4|
|12||4.19||4||March 1||March 6|
|13||2.08||3||March 5||March 9|
|14||9.47||10||Jan. 12||Jan. 24|
|15 (A)||2.57||Completed (saw crew)|
|15 (B)||2.24||3||Jan. 22||Jan. 27|
|16 (A)||0.1||Completed (saw crew)|
|16 (B)||2.81||4||Jan. 25||Jan. 31|
|17||0.75||1||Jan. 29||March 1|
Inquiries related to this FireSmart project may be directed to PULSE by calling 780-743-7000
FAQ: FireSmart and the Birchwood Trails
What type of work will be done for this project?
The scope of work includes the removal of dead standing trees and thinning/pruning of remaining trees and construction of fuel breaks. This is not a clear cutting operation.
Is tree removal necessary?
Yes, the removal of select trees is necessary to reduce potential fuel in the event of wildfire. This is done carefully, respecting the environment and the beauty of our forested areas.
How much land area will be affected by this work?
Approximately 95 hectares along primarily the exterior edge of the Birchwood Trails system will be affected.
When and where exactly will this work take place?
Work will take place at a number of locations across the Birchwood Trails system for the duration of this project (approximately three months). Continue to check this web page for updates to work that may affect you.
How will the burns be controlled?
Infinite Forestry Consulting Ltd. is sensitive to the concerns of residents and our recent wildfire experience. They will be taking extra precautions to monitor these necessary burns. Be aware that burns will only be ignited in favourable and safe conditions.
Will smoke from the burns be an issue?
Every effort will be made to minimize smoke during the controlled burn process. Signage in work site areas will alert residents to the potential of smoke so they may be reassured there are no fire or safety concerns to report.
Will the Birchwood Trails be closed during this work? For how long?
Temporary closures of portions of the trail will be necessary through out this FireSmart project. We will continue to update this page with those locations and expected duration of the closure.
If you encounter an unexpected closure while using the trails, please use caution and observe all warning signs.
Will timber for firewood be available as a result of this work?
Timber for firewood will be available to residents on a first-come, first-served basis. Locations, dates and times will be posted on this page as the contractor completes work throughout the duration of the project.
Where can I get more information about FireSmart?
To learn about the FireSmart program, visit the FireSmart Canada website.
Questions about this FireSmart project along Birchwood Trails may be directed to Pulse by calling 780-743-7000.