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122   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

the already dangerous debris. No care was therefore taken to prevent destruction of the standing small trees, and, indeed, in such a heavy slash, to do so would render the cost prohibitive; also, brush piling was not necessary to insure a clean burn.

The area has an elevation of about 4,800 feet, and consists of a flat valley some half mile wide along the river, with steep slopes running up to beyond timber line. Due to the configuration of the country, there is almost constantly a wind blowing up or down the valley, increasing the danger of disastrous fire.

Owing to the elevation the snowfall is heavy, and, in the timber, it remains late in the spring. The snow is gone from the open logged-off area a couple of weeks before it is gone from the standing timber. It was therefore a question only of awaiting an opportunity when the melting snow will protect the standing timber, but has gone from the slashed area. The melting snow also drains toward the river, and the duff under the slash contains so much water that no danger to the soil cover was to be feared. The spring of 1913 was wet and back-ward, so that the conditions for slash-burning were not favourable until about June 1st. The fire was started on the evening of June 9th, about a week later than it should have been to obtain the cheapest results. However, it was soon found that fire would not run in standing timber, although a very fierce fire resulted in the slash. The method employed was backfiring along the edge of standing timber, and along cross roads. After backfiring, all parts along the edge were lit as soon as possible, so that fires ran towards each other and met in the middle of the slash away from green timber.

A gang of river drivers was available when required. About, twenty men were employed on June 11 to work around the edges, putting out all fires, as it was too late in the season to allow any fire to remain in stumps and rotting logs. The total cost was therefore somewhat increased, compared to what it would have have been about a week earlier.

The cost was $132.00. Area burned, 300 acres. Cost per acre, 44 cents. The cost, reckoned on a per thousand basis for timber estimated to have been cut from this area, was less than three cents per thousand feet.

All the most dangerous slash, caused by several years' operations, was disposed of practically in one day. No damage was done to merchantable timber, nor was the duff burned off the ground. A clean burn was made at a cost by no means excessive, when the amount of timber and logging equipment protected by it are considered. There should follow on the burned area a full stand of jack pine and a considerable percentage of spruce. Spruce may naturally be


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