Ridgemont Firesmart Harvesting
If you’ve been out biking, running, or hiking in the Ridgemont Trail Network recently, you have probably noticed new flagging in place and perhaps Vast Resources Solutions Ltd. employees in reflective vests placing said flagging.
Contracted by Ridgemont Holdings Ltd., Vast Resources Solutions is implementing a harvesting plan for their property (see map) to create a fire-smart post-harvest stand structure.
As stated in the document Vast Resources Solutions presented to the FTA and City of Fernie, “Firesmart recommends the elimination of understory trees and some woody shrubs as they can serve as “ladder fuels” providing a pathway for a surface fire to reach the forest overstory and develop into an active crown fire. Despite this, it is recommended that 1-5 clumps per hectare of undersize trees are retained for biodiversity and aesthetics. It is also recommended that as much understory as possible be retained within MFZ’s established along watercourses, seeps, and rec trails for water course protection, slope stability, and to enhance the recreational experience.”
The goals and timeline for this project are as follows.
- To retain 50-100 stems per hectare of mature wind firm trees
- To maintain the integrity of the existing trail network
- To use local Fernie based contractors
- July – August – layout/planning/assessment
- Mid October – April 2019 – mechanized operations
- Trail Closure: Mid October – April 2019 (All trails will be closed in this area until May 2019)
Please contact the property owner for more information.
Additionally, the City of Fernie has a Facebook page (FernieFireSmart) dedicated to keeping our community informed and educated when it comes to Fire Smart practices. This summer, they hosted family friendly FireSmart demonstrations, which offered hands-on experience and information to allow everyone to get involved.