Recent audits reveal Wildfire Act Issues

VICTORIA – A review of forest and range practice audits from 2013 and 2014 finds about half the audits had no issues and half had non-compliance with legislation or areas requiring improvement, according to a report released today. Of the problems found, one-third involved problems with wildfire prevention.

“We published 23 audit reports and 12 of those found 24 practices that either didn’t comply with provincial forestry legislation, or were not considered good practice,” said board chair Tim Ryan. “Of most concern is the trend we are seeing in problems related to the Wildfire Act and the requirements to prevent wildfires on logging sites.”

Eight of the 24 issues involved not assessing fire hazard risks, not having appropriate fire-fighting equipment on site or not abating hazards after completion of logging. On the positive side, BC Hydro fully met fire protection requirements on the Columbia Valley Transmission Line and K-Bar Resources Ltd. did a good job removing trees to reduce wildfire risk to the community of Bankier. The other 16 issues found in the audits involved bridge construction, protecting scenic viewscapes, reporting information to government, soil disturbance, and forest stewardship plans.

The audits examined large and small operations, including forest licences, tree farm licences, BC Timber Sales, woodlot licences, licences to cut, range tenures and a community forest licence. All of the reports are available on the board’s website.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

More information can be obtained by contacting:

Darlene Oman
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4705 / 1 800 994-5899

June 2, 2015