Criteria Used To Select Treatment Areas
All available grants define areas that the funding can be used to treat. In the District's case, funding could only be applied to prioritized District lands and Crown lands within municipal boundaries. Unfortunately this excluded private lands, Westbank First Nation (WFN) lands and Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) parklands. Both WFN and the RDCO have accessed other funding for their lands. To date, the District has been unsuccessful in obtaining financial assistance for private home owners, although it continues to conduct research.
From the original 65 areas defined in the CWPP, many of which fall outside the District's jurisdiction, a detailed priority list was assembled of the approved treatment areas. The District will continue to apply for additional funding to address other needs.
Work Completed in 2011
The table below identifies the latest work, completed in Winter / Spring 2011:
How Forest Fuel Clean Up Impacts Your Neighborhood
When a forested area in your neighborhood is identified for treatment, area residents can expect possible park and trail closures, machinery noise, within acceptable hours, and contractor traffic around the site. All efforts are made to avoid negative impacts, although there may be inconveniences associated with reducing wildfire risks. The District advertises the specific areas and attempts to define the approximate dates for treatment before work begins.
Extent Of The Works
The works often include tree thinning, limb removal, and under story fuel cleanup. In most cases the disposal of fuels is the largest challenge. Projects see the use of a variety of methods which are determined by the terrain and access at particular sites.
The various methods include a combination of off site disposal, on site chipping and grinding, and in some cases, controlled pile burning closely monitored and regulated by West Kelowna Fire Rescue. As burning permits are issued only when air quality and venting indices are suitable, the District advises the public on days when burning will occur through notices on its web site and to the media.