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Posted: June 5, 2015

Recent audits reveal Wildfire Act Issues

A Forest Practices Board (FPB) review of forest and range practice audits from 2013 and 2014 shows a 50-50 record of compliance with the Wildfire Act in B.C.

The FPB stated yesterday in a press release that the review shows half the audits had no issues and half had non-compliance with legislation or areas requiring improvement.

Of the problems found, one-third involved problems with wildfire prevention.

Of particular interest to the Columbia Valley, the audit shows BC Hydro fully met fire protection requirements in the Columbia Valley Transmission Line project.

“We published 23 audit reports and 12 of those found 24 practices that either didn’t comply with provincial forestry legislation, or were not considered good practice,” said FPB chair Tim Ryan. “Of most concern is the trend we are seeing in problems related to the Wildfire Act and the requirements to prevent wildfires on logging sites.”

Eight of the 24 issues involved not assessing fire hazard risks, not having appropriate fire-fighting equipment on site or not abating hazards after completion of logging.

“On the positive side, along with BC Hydro meeting fire protection requirements with the Columbia Valley Transmission Line project, K-Bar Resources Ltd. did a good job removing trees to reduce wildfire risk to the community of Bankier,” the FPB press release noted.

The other 16 issues found in the audits involved bridge construction, protecting scenic viewscapes, reporting information to government, soil disturbance, and forest stewardship plans.

The audits examined large and small operations, including forest licences, tree farm licences, BC Timber Sales, woodlot licences, licences to cut, range tenures and a community forest licence. All of the reports are available on the board’s website.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

For more go to: www.bcfpb.ca

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