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FOREST FIRES AND BRUSH DISPOSAL,   123

expected to form a noticeable part of the reproduction, on account of the forest soil cover being preserved; also, the burned strip is not too wide for seeding from the edges and from spruce seed trees remaining along the river inside the burn.

It was demonstrated that slash burning may be undertaken with safety if advantage is taken of a favourable opportunity. It would seem that, between the time when slash will not burn because it is too wet and the season in which it is too dry to attempt burning it, there must be a period when fires can easily be controlled, when a sufficiently clean burn can be made, and when the soil cover will not be injured. Especially when spruce reproduction is desired, the soil cover should be preserved. When fir and yellow pine comprise the type, probably a more severe ground fire would be beneficial if sufficient seed trees could be protected. Broadcast burning would appear to be indicated in heavy stands, where small timber remaining after logging is of little use; but, in more open stands, characteristic in other parts of the interior, the young timber is worth preserving. In order to obtain a clean burn and to protect such small timber, rough piling would be necessary before burning.

 

VERNON DISTRICT
By L. R. Andrews, District Forester, British Columbia Forest Branch

Construction of the Kettle Valley railway across the Hydraulic summit in the Vernon forest district was commenced in late autumn and early winter of 1912 and 1913. The grade at this point is at an elevation of about 4,000 feet above sea level. It traverses the water-shed and within a few miles of the source of the tributaries of Mission creek, and close to the catchment areas and reservoirs of two large irrigation projects which supply much needed water to about 10,000 acres of irrigated land under fruit in the Kelowna district.

Owing to the highly inflammable nature of the watershed, which is largely covered by dense second growth pine and down timber, with patchy stands of fir, tamarack and spruce, an acute fire hazard was created. Large amounts of slash and other debris were left on the ground. This hazard was greatly intensified by the usual carelessness of labourers and travellers with camp fires, cigarettes, pipes, etc., as well as by the danger of sparks from stationary engines.

The situation was keenly felt by the irrigation interests and the Forest Branch, as well as by the contractors, who had some $50,000 worth of equipment at stake. Spring burning of the debris, therefore, recommended itself as essential, to get rid of the slashings early, and thus reduce to a great extent the danger during the fire season.


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