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Posted: April 11, 2024

Habitat enhancement burn planned for McDonald area

The BC Wildfire Service will be supporting the Ministry of Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship in conducting a 240-hectare habitat enhancement burn. This burn is on the unceded and traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation, Ktunaxa ʔamakʔis, and ʔakanuxunik’ ʔamakʔis, Tobacco Plains Indian Band traditional territory, approximately four kilometres southeast of the community of Grasmere.

The exact timing of this burn will depend on weather and site conditions, but it could begin as early as Saturday, April 13.

Smoke may impact residents near the burn area and will be highly visible from Grasmere, surrounding communities, and to motorists travelling along Highway 93. Rotary wing resources will be supporting ignition operations, residents can expect to see helicopters in the area during the burn.

Burning will proceed if conditions are suitable to achieve objectives and allow for smoke dispersal, though smoke may linger in the following days, particularly the morning after burn operations. Despite all precautions to manage it, unintended smoke impacts are possible after any burn.

Key goals of this prescribed burn include: 

  • Improve winter and transitional habitat for mule deer and bighorn sheep,
  • Enhance forest openings to increase movement corridors and sightlines for predator avoidance,
  • Rejuvenate important forage species to support wildlife,
  • Help restore forest health and properly functioning open forest conditions, and
  • Reduce forest fuels to decrease the long-term wildfire risk.

Fire is a normal and natural process in many of B.C.’s ecosystems. The BC Wildfire Service works regularly with land managers to undertake fuel management activities (including the use of prescribed burns), to help reduce the severity of future wildfires and related threats to communities. Learn more about prescribed burning online:

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit:

BC Wildfire Service

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