Maple Ridge fire department, Hydro work out a plan

UBC Research Forest, fire department worried about wildfires

  • Jun. 21, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The fire chiefs and B.C. Hydro have figured out a way to minimize the risk of wild fires on the new powerline right of way, slicing through northern Maple Ridge.

Fire chief Peter Grootendorst said Hydro and its contractor Flatiron-Graham met with the fire department, the Wildfire Management Branch and UBC’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, located at the north end of 232nd Street, to work on a “pre-fire plan” to prevent a forest fire during mid summer.

Research forest manager Paul Lawson is worried that piles of slash left over from the clearing could fuel a major fire during mid summer. If fire spread to the nearby research forest, tree-growing experiments spanning decades could be wiped out.

Grootendorst said  Hydro will start grinding and chipping the timber piles next week, then hauling the chips off site.

The research forest and fire department pointed out the high hazard areas that will be the priorities for removing the debris.

Grootendorst expects the chipping to be underway within two weeks, in time to get debris chewed through before hot weather makes the forest too risky to work in.

B.C. Hydro has said work crews are all trained in firefighting and equipment is on standby as well as helicopters.

A mock firefighting exercise will also be part of the preparations.

The fire department has previously written to Hydro about the issue.

Grootendorst said the powerline right of way stretches 14 kilometres through Maple Ridge, which works out to about 200 hectares.

B.C. Hydro and its contractor, Flatiron-Graham are  building a 247-kilometre, 500-kilovolt powerline from Merritt to Coquitlam, mostly along an existing powerline.

Just Posted

Class sizes dropped from among the worst in B.C.

Maple Ridge trustees review statistics

Pitt Meadows gets new art gallery

Arts community celebrates during official opening Saturday

VIDEO: emergency landing near Langley airport

Plane lost power during take-off

Heavy downpours expected in parts of Metro Vancouver

Heavy rain will begin to ease off Sunday evening as the frontal system moves south out of the area

Murray returns as Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School Board chair

Will serve his last year in an “outstanding” time for the board

Maple Ridge remembers

Remembrance Day ceremony and parade in downtown Maple Ridge.

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Vancouver builds early lead, never looks back in 6-1 win at Langley Events Centre

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Crash shuts down Highway 91 in Richmond for hours

The stretch of highway was closed for more than 6 hours due to a multi-vehicle accident

Most Read