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FORT NELSON, B.C. — Work has begun to protect against the effects of wildfire and climate change in northeast B.C.

The $257,250 wildfire-mitigation project is for the Fort Nelson Community Forest to create a “fuel break” by thinning a tree stand adjacent to Fort Nelson and the Alaska Highway.

The Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) is reportedly investing in 12 new wildfire risk reduction projects, including one in northeastern B.C.

The FESBC has approved 34 new wildfire risk reduction projects that should be completed by March 2024.

These projects will reduce the risk of wildfires, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from slash pile burning and support forest recreation and resiliency.

According to the government of BC, slash is leftover tree limbs, tops and other residue that the forestry industry can’t use.

Slash pile burning is when the slash is piled together and burned during safe conditions.

Over the last five years, FESBC has approved 263 projects throughout the province, with 63 reportedly being led by First Nations and 23 having significant First Nations involvement.

The projects have reduced the wildfire risk in 120 communities and created more than 2,100 full-time jobs.

The province will work toward the near elimination of slash pile burning by 2030 as part of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, and the projects funded through FESBC will help achieve these goals.

The FESBC was given $25 million as part of the $359 million announced in Budget 2022 to protect the province’s residents from wildfires, including $145 million to the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

The FESBC is a Crown agency established to help prevent wildfires, mitigate the effects of wildfires, improve damaged or low-value forests, improve wildlife habitat, support the use of fibre from damaged or low-value forests and treat forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.