Contractors working on the Penticton Trails fuel mitigation project will start work as early as 5 am, Saturday, May 11.
According to a City of Powell River news release, spring has been and continues to be extremely hot and dry and the early morning start is out of concern for the condition of the forest.
“For general forest practices this is a responsible and reasonable request,” said Powell River Fire Rescue coordinator/public educator Tricia Greenwood, adding that the city’s noise bylaw has a provision that allows for this work to be done on city lands.
“Although there will be limited impact due to the proximity of the work, there is expectation that neighbouring properties will be able to hear the machinery,” said Greenwood.
According to the city’s engineering services division, the contractor would like to respect the neighbourhood on Sunday morning.
“They will not start early that day but then back to early shift again on Monday until the weather cools off or until the project finishes later this month,” said engineering division GIS technician Karen Vandenameele.
The work is part of the community wildfire protection plan, intended to reduce the risk of urban, interface forest fires by clearing the parkland of fallen branches, leaves and other materials that allow for the quick spread of wildfire.
“We appreciate the public’s patience with this important project,” said qathet Regional District manager of emergency services Ryan Thoms. “We anticipate the project to be completed by the end of May in time for public use of the trails in this newly fire-smarted city park.”