Partial loss of University of British Columbia research forest to fire leads to unlikely research opportunities
August 17, 2017
Ten per cent of a research forest operated by the University of British Columbia near Williams Lake has been burned by wildfire this summer. And while UBC researchers are working to protect the 10,000-hectare forest, which is home to a number of long-term projects, the damage is offering some unique opportunities. “I’ve found it quite interesting… looking at the [forest fire] treatment we’ve done over our 30-year history and some even before the research forest was established,” manager Ken Day told On The Coast guest host Michelle Eliot. “Part of the variability in fire effects [within the UBC forest] is what our treatment effects have done to the fuel load in the past.” Day says zones where the forest floor was thinned of burnable material, like dead wood, saw reduced fire intensity and reduced mortality of trees in the fire’s path.