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FOREST FIRES AND BRUSH DISPOSAL   131

slash situation in the Fraser valley on the coast, and in the Columbia valley, in the vicinity of Revelstoke, in the interior, and drew up plans for the burning of certain typical slash areas. The intention was to burn these areas at Government expense as an experiment, to obtain reliable cost data which could be advanced to the lumbermen as proof that it would be good business for them, figured on an insurance basis, to take up the question of slash disposal during lumbering operations. and to charge the expenses incurred against the cost of logging.

If it could be proved to the lumbermen that burning could be done quite reasonably as regards cost, the question of responsibility of burning would be the only hindrance to slash disposal. The appointment of a slash burner was designed to take care of this part of the situation; this officer was also given authority to take over, on behalf of the Government, the responsibility of handling burning operations, provided the lumber companies would supply the necessary help and pay all legitimate expenses in connection therewith.

Unfortunately the fire season of 1914 set in early and very badly, so that, when plans for burning were completed, the fire hazard was prohibitive. During the summer, forest fires effectually cleaned up the type areas chosen, together with other large areas of both slash and timber.

During the autumn other areas were selected, but, again, natural obstacles intervened. This time, continual rains prevented the possibility of getting a fire started at all.

These unforeseen occurrences show that there is only from one to two weeks in spring and autumn when slash burning can be successfully undertaken, and emphasize the necessity of careful planning and organization beforehand in order to take the fullest advantage of natural conditions when they do prove favourable. Although no actual burning was done last season, it is certain that the work done was not wasted, because the studies made served to interest lumbermen, particularly in the coast district, in the importance to them of slash disposal. It is expected that the work will be pressed forward vigorously in the spring of 1915, and it is hoped that the experience gained this year will enable the Forestry Branch to carry experimental burnings to a successful conclusion.

In the dense forests which cover the areas in which lumbering operations are being carried on, brush piling is out of the question. The only possible method of brush disposal will be broadcast burning, which entails the construction of fire guards around the slash. The lands on which these conditions obtain are not, as above noted, included within forest reserves at the present time. Nor are the licensed timber


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