Second phase of prescribed burn near Keremeos to be ignited this spring

Smoke rises from an earlier prescribed burn on Crater Mountain near Keremeos. This week, the Ministry of Forests said another prescribed burn, involving 1,100 hectares, will take place sometime this spring. Shelby Thom / Global News

Phase two of a massive prescribed burn is slated to take place this spring in the mountains west of Keremeos.

According to the Ministry of Forests, the prescribed burn will take place near Crater Mountain, approximately 15 kilometres west of Keremeos, and will involve 1,100 hectares.

The ministry didn’t say exactly when burning would begin, but did say prep work could start this week, adding that the burn “likely won’t occur until early April if weather, site and venting conditions allow.”

It added the B.C. Wildfire Service, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Lower Similkameen Indian Band will be conducting the burn.

“This burn is phase two of a comprehensive, multi-year project that began in the spring of 2019,” said the ministry.

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“It is intended to improve bighorn sheep habitat and protect cultural values. This collaborative effort also supports the traditional use of fire as a tool to improve landscapes in the Okanagan region.”

Click to play video: 'Fighting fire with cattle, flame and logging'
Fighting fire with cattle, flame and logging

Smoke from the prescribed burn may be visible from nearby communities plus Highway 3 and Highway 3A.

The ministry said the prescribed burn will be lit with pre-established boundaries to remove combustible materials and will mimic a naturally occurring ground fire.

More information about the burn’s first phase, click here.

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