Fire department won’t burn Kimiwan lakeshore

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Burning the grass and weeds along the Kimiwan Lake shoreline to lessen the risk of a wildfire is next to impossible, the M.D. of Smoky River director of protective services/fire chief told McLennan town council at its May 8 meeting.

Marcel Maure attended the meeting to update council on the local wildfire situation and said all nearby evacuations were in Big Lakes County, there was no threat to McLennan.

“Our concern is the lakeshore,” said Maure.

“Burning on the lakeshore in near impossible,” he added.

Controlled burns on along the lakeshore greatly diminish the chance of a wildfire starting, similar to controlled burns along railway tracks.

Maure added if the fire department tries to burn too early in the spring it is usually too wet. Later in the spring results in a second problem.

“Birds are nesting,” he said.

“You can’t burn birds.”

The only other solution is to purchase a $300,000 sprinkler system for the fire department which is not happening due to expense.

A second risk location in the town was also discussed and a preventive measure suggested to council. Maure advised to plow a road allowance in the town’s northeast end to create an 80-foot barrier between the lake and town. He added people would be unhappy; however, with the loss of nearly trees. The good news is this year is the grass is cut so short there is minimal risk if a fire does start.

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