The B.C. government says it has reached a milestone in the clean-up of a wildfire northwest of Hazelton.
The Pope Forest Service Road fire scorched over five square kilometres of Gitxsan territory between August 1st and early September.
The Province says all of the land affected by fire suppression work has been fully rehabilitated with the help of the Gitxsan Nation.
- rehabilitating 25.6 kilometres of fireguards (cleared strips of land around a fire’s perimeter to slow its spread)
- salvaging about 700 cubic metres of wood (cut down to create the fireguards)
- seeding new grass to help control soil erosion
- clearing danger trees (trees damaged to the point where they could topple over without warning)
- restoring natural drainage patterns
“I feel that this is a start of a new future for the Gitxsan people,” said hereditary Chief Xhliiyemlaxha of the Gitxsan First Nation in a provincial government news release. “We want meaningful consultation and relationships with the government and this is an example of how we can work together for decisions on the land.”
Work to restore the impacts of fire suppression activities is the first step in land-based recovery, with other steps like timber salvage and reforestation to come in the future.