Wildfire Service Conduct Risk Reduction in Houston Area

With last year's devastating wildfires still fresh in everyone's minds, the BC Wildfire Service is preparing to do what are called "fuel management treatments" in the Houston area to reduce the fire risk. 

Fire Information Officer Carolyn Bartos says the work will be carried out in the Lund Road subdivision -- covering over four hectares of forested land that contains a large volume of dead and blown-down spruce and pine trees.

 "Crews will be working to reduces materials that are available to burn, pruning trees, thining the forest canopy, removing any dead stands and just making it a little bit more fire smart in that area, so crews will be working on this project throughout the fire season, so starting now through the summer and potentially into a little bit of the fall, all around potential and active fires, so it is an ongoing project that we have going on here," she says.

Crews will do the work when weather and site conditions are suitable... and  when they aren't busy preparing for or responding to wildfires.

Signs will be posted to let the public know when crews are using chainsaws in the area.

Meantime, the province is imposing a partial prohibition on *Category 2* open fires in Nadina, Bulkley and Skeena Fire Zones -- beginning today (Monday).

The Northwest Fire Centre says it's a pro-active step to prevent backyard burns or grass fires from spreading to nearby forests.

The ban will apply to smaller burn piles -- and the burning of stubble or grass.

Fire officials will also be asking people and companies with *category 3* burning registration numbers to refrain from lighting burn piles for the foreseeable future.

The wildfire service is concerned about continued dry conditions in the northwest -- as temperatures are forecast to rise into the upper teens and 20s this week.