Hazard Reduction Burns
Posted April 23, 2021
Over the weekend (April 24 and 25) the Fire Department plans to carry out hazard reduction burns in certain areas of town.
Proposed locations and hours for hazard reduction burns
Areas where we hope to burn are highlighted in red below, burning will depend on conditions on the ground at the time. Whether we burn will be determined by the fire department based on a variety of factors such as air temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity etc. Our hope is to be able to burn all of the areas highlighted in red, however, some areas may not be burned if conditions do not safely allow.
Burning would take place between 9 AM and 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
The list of proposed areas is:
- West side of 101 St. between 114 Ave. and the end of 101 St. (south).
Coolsprings/Peace River Highschool area:
- Area below (East of) Coolsprings Mobile Home Park,
- Areas around Peace River High School and Hillcrest Apartments, and,
- North side of 90 Ave. between 96 St. and 99 St.
- Area around the Dog Off-Leash Area – north of 71 Ave. and east of 99 St.
- Area between Misery Mountain and 85 St. and 83 St. (between 103 Ave. and 99 Ave.).
What is a hazard reduction burn?
Sometimes the best way to prevent a major uncontrolled fire from happening is to start a little, controlled, one.
That’s the science behind the hazard reduction burn program conducted by the Peace River Fire Department. By burning small patches of wildland in town we’re able to limit the likelihood of a major fire using those areas as fuel to burn through town. It’s a process that is similar to the Prescribed Fire Program used by Alberta’s Forestry department. The difference with hazard reduction burns is that the Town of Peace River is only focused on reducing fire hazards, whereas prescribed fires also play an ecological role, in addition to reducing fire fuel and hazards.
Hazard reduction burns are carried out by experts on public lands under the care and control of the Town of Peace River with the utmost caution to ensure they’re completed safely and with limited impact.
What are the possible impacts to local residents?
While burning is underway there will be lots of smoke. Every effort is made to ensure that smoke will not blow into residential areas. This is why the Fire Department checks factors like the wind speed and direction prior to burning. However, despite best efforts sometimes smoke can blow into residential areas. We recommend keeping windows and air intakes closed if there is smoke in your neighbourhood.
Firefighters and equipment
Areas where we are burning are hubs of activity with a number of fire trucks, off-highway vehicles, and other apparatus. If you are in the area please drive cautiously around workers and equipment.
Immediately after burning the land will appear black and scorched. However, the burning of fuel leaves behind nutrient-rich soil. This soil will allow regrowth quickly. While things will appear burnt and ugly initially, the land will not stay that way very long.