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Perimeter of Birchwood Trail System now fully treated with FireSmart prescription, following vegetation management project

 

(Fort McMurray, AB – March 25, 2019) Work has now wrapped up on Phase 2B of the Birchwood Trails FireSmart project. The completion of this project marks the end of all scheduled FireSmart vegetation management work in the Birchwood Trail System, as identified in the 2017 RMWB Wildfire Mitigation Strategy.

Phases 2A and 2B of this project, which took place from October 2016 to March 2019, focused on treating 125 hectares of land along the perimeter of the trail system with FireSmart prescriptions. This perimeter was created by removing all dead, down and unhealthy trees and by thinning and pruning combustible evergreen trees in densely-forested areas along the trail system. To minimize ground disturbance and preserve the natural landscape of the trails, all work was completed with hand crews and all debris was disposed of on-site through supervised burns.

The goal of this FireSmart project was to reduce the risk of wildfire in the area and to increase the safety of homes and neighbourhoods that surround the trail system.

“The Birchwood Trail System is an incredibly valuable part of our community, but as with any dense forest within an urban area, it presents a risk to neighbouring homes,” said Jody Butz, Fire Chief, Regional Emergency Services. “That risk needed to be addressed and this FireSmart project has done just that. By removing the fuel build-up in and along the perimeter of the trails, we’ve reduced the risk of wildfire damage to homes in the area, while also helping to improve the overall health of the forest.”

While this FireSmart project in the Birchwood Trail System is now complete, the area will continue to be monitored and managed by the Municipality with FireSmart principles in mind.

For more information on the recent FireSmart work that has taken place in the Birchwood Trails, or throughout the region, visit rmwb.ca/FireSmartProjects, or call PULSE at 780-743-7000.

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Contact:

media@rmwb.ca

 

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