The BC Wildfire Service, in conjunction with BC Timber Sales and the Kaslo and District Community Forest Society, is planning to conduct two prescribed burns in the Kootenay Lake Fire Zone. Burning will take place between Thursday through Saturday (October 8-10, 2015) weather conditions permitting.

The BC Wildfire Service, in a prepared media statement, said the burn, occurring near Keen Creek, eight kilometres west of Kaslo, will cover 16.5 hectares and smoke will be visible to the communities of Kaslo and South Fork and from Highway 31A.

Smoke may be present for several days.

BC Wildfire Service fire crews will monitor the area at all times.

The second burn, located near Hope Creek along Highway 31, 30 kilometres north of Meadow Creek, will also cover 16.5 hectares.

Smoke will also be visible from highway 31.

The BC Wildfire Service said the goal of these burns is to mimic naturally occurring ground fires and reduce the amount of dead and combustible materials, which improves the area’s fire resiliency and decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

These areas will be prepared for replanting after the burn project has been completed.

Fire is a natural, normal process in many ecosystems. It can be beneficial in maintaining a healthy forest and a diversity of plant and animal life.

The BC Wildfire Service said through evolution and exposure to wildfires, many plants and animals have adapted to fire and actually depend on it to regenerate. Fire can also discourage insect infestations and help fire-adapted plant species reproduce.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, 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