A prescribed burn was done at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve in 2013. Another is scheduled to take place in the next couple of weeks. (Citizen file)

Prescribed burn for the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve

Between Sept. 27 and Oct. 9, if and when site and weather conditions become favourable.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is working with the BC Wildfire Service to conduct a prescribed burn at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve on Maple Bay Road. The burn is being planned for an appropriate day between Sept. 27 and Oct. 9, if and when site and weather conditions become favourable.

The BC Wildfire Service will lead all operations related to the prescribed burn.

The purpose of the burn is to aid in the restoration of the native Garry oak meadow on the preserve. Garry oak meadows were historically maintained by humans through a complex system of management, which included the use of low-intensity fire. Today, prescribed fires remain an important management tool for this ecosystem type. Burns help to manage invasive plants and minimize the risk of fire caused by a build up of dry grasses and shrubs.

Burning also encourages the meadow grasses and wildflowers to proliferate in the spring. The Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve contains notable populations of rare and endangered plants and animals that rely on fire on the landscape to survive.

Prescribed burns (also called controlled burns) are very safe. The site is first prepared by mowing a fire break around the burn area, and then wetting down all mature trees and soaking the perimeter. This year’s planned burn will include five small plots (averaging a quarter of a hectare each), burned sequentially. The total active burning time will be less than two hours.

While the fire is active, BC Wildfire Service personnel will be on site, closely monitoring the progression of the burn, with fire suppression equipment on hand. It is important to note that the fire will only burn dried grasses and small shrubs. In addition, all measures will be taken to reduce and control smoke while the fire is active.

Prescribed burns have been planned at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve for the past several years during the early fall. However, as very specific weather conditions are required for a burn to occur, none have been able to take place since 2014. Similarly, this year, if temperature, wind, humidity and atmospheric venting conditions are not optimal, the prescribed burn won’t happen.

Questions about this burn can be directed to Steve Godfrey, West Coast Stewardship Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada at westcoast@natureconservancy.ca.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bob Day is the new mayor of Lake Cowichan. (Citizen file)
Bob Day wins byelection for Lake Cowichan mayor

Former councillor edges former mayor by 19 votes; final results pending

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Soccer ball stock shot
Quw’utsun FC improves to 2-0

Five different players score in win over Peninsula

Carrots from seed harvested in 2018. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Carrots: from seed to storage

Our sandy soil dries out quickly and I find I can sow carrots usually mid-April

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read