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FOREST FIRES AND BRUSH DISPOSAL,   135 SASKATCHEWAN

By G. A. Gutches, District Inspector of Forest Reserves, Dominion Forestry Branch, Saskatchewan District

Instructions were issued early in October, 1913, to all rangers of forest reserves in this district that the brush was to be piled on all timber operations within the reserves. Results show that it is far easier and cheaper to pile and burn the brush in connection with the cutting than it is to make piles suitable for burning and then burn them at a later date. The following figures show the results on three areas within the Nesbit reserve. All are cordwood operations in jack pine. Labour was in each case paid at the rate of 25 cents per hour.

Area 1. The cutting was done in 1913, and the brush left scattered according to the old method. The brush and all refuse on an area of 20 acres of this old cut was piled and burned. The average cut was twenty-two cords per acre. Total cut of 440 cords. Total cost $20.50. Cost per acre $1.025. Cost per cord 4.7 cents.

Area 2. The timber was cut in the winter of 1913, and the brush was piled and burned as soon as cut. On an area of 18 acres the average cut was 20 cords per acre. Total cut of 360 cords. Total cost $19.75. Cost per cord 5.4 cents. Cost per acre $1.097.

Area 3. All brush was piled and burned. The area comprised 210 acres, with average cut of 20 cords per acre. Total 4,200 cords. Total cost $208.00. Cost per acre $0.99. Cost per cord 4.9 cents.

The average cost for above areas was $1.00 per acre, or 4.9 cents per cord. The brush was disposed of on these areas under practically the most difficult conditions, as the brush was as heavy as any in this locality; the above figures are therefore a fair average.

The areas cut over under permit on the Nesbit reserve have been well cleaned up, and the brush and refuse have been piled and burned by holders of permits on 58 acres, and piled on an additional 1,350 ages.

The permittees at first felt that brush piling would be a hardship, but, after they had tried it for a short time, they found it was far easier to get at the wood than under the old system, and this was especially true on areas where low stumps were cut. In former cuttings, the stumps were cut from two to four feet in height, and it was very difficult to get to the piles with sleighs without getting hung up on stumps. After a little experience the permittees found that the brush disposal and low cut stumps did not entail any extra cost on the wood delivered, as any extra expense caused by cutting low stumps, and piling and burning brush was saved by making the wood more accessible for hauling.


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