Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Minutes from the Lac Le Jeune Conservation Society Wildfire Planning Meeting

 Lac Le Jeune Conservation Society Wildfire Planning Meeting      

June 8, 2024                                                                  Start Time: 10:00 AM                

Location: Lac Le Jeune Campsite Amenity Building

Headcount: 24 people in attendance

  1. Wood Waste and Brush Drop Off: (Dean RedKnap). The owners of the Old Ski Hill property have agreed to allow controlled wood waste dumping in the old parking area.  This is for Lac Le Jeune residents (only).  Allowed materials include needles, wood chips, tree branches, small logs and other wood waste.  No permitted are stumps with dirt attached, garbage, plumbing fixtures, gyprock etc.  Access is controlled and through the locked gate.   Contact Clay Govett (250-819-4779) or Dean Redknap ( 250-819-1900) to gain entry.  Please try to unload your material onto the existing pile, or as near to it as possible.  The Society would like to thank Mr. Tetreau for allowing this, and FireSmart for providing a grant to cover costs.

-If you have wood waste but don’t have the capability to haul it to the site, Dean and   

             Clay are willing to assist with their equipment and expertise for fair reimbursement.

-If you would like to have ladder material and excess wood material removed from your 

             property Dean and Clay are trained tree fallers and arborists and have offered to assist,  

             again, for fair remuneration.

2.   Fire Crew/Brigade Training: (Dean RedKnap).  Dean has organized training for volunteers 

      interested in joining a Lac Le Jeune Coordinated Community Fire Brigade.  As of June 8 

      there were 14 people signed up for the two day training sessions.  The course will will be 

      offered June 22 and 23 at Lac Le Jeune Resort.  There is still room for more volunteers.  

      Contact Dean at the phone number above if you are interested. The volunteers will work 

      together to provide a rapid response to wildfire in our immediate area.  They will also be 

      available to sign on with WildfireBC as a ‘stat hire’ if needed.

- Corinne Shock asked if the volunteers would be required to own their own safety 

              equipment.  The answer was affirmative, so the Society will look at ways to access 

              funds to assist volunteers with purchasing PPE, fire protective clothing etc.

3.  FireSmarting Lac Le Jeune Private Property: (Dean/Clay).  Clay thanked the 14 volunteers willing to sign up for the Community Fire Brigade.  In interest of keeping our properties FireSmart he reminded us to:

-Ensure that our gutters are clear of leaves, needles and debris.

-Take care that your trees have ladder material (branches, needles) removed up to 3 

             meters from the ground.

-Vegetation (lawns, shrubs) should be kept trimmed through the summer months, 

             particularly within 10 meters of your home.

-If you are leaving home for a few days in the summer then put away your flammable 

             welcome mats, market umbrellas, and lawn chair cushions.

-If there is danger of a wildfire in our vicinity then move firewood away from your home, 

             or cover it with fireproof blankets.

Steve Banish stated that insurers are demanding that fire resistant materials be used in new construction.

Dean reminded residents of the Subdivision that there are no ‘fire hydrants’ in the area.  The standing pipes located by each residential lot are “flushing stands”, and they are not designed for providing water in the case of a wildfire.  If residents want to access water to assist in fire suppression, then they need to access water from the Lake, or nearby ponds by use of pumps, hoses etc.

- Pete Banman asked where we could access funding to assist in purchasing fire 

              suppression equipment, and what would the cost per home be for the necessary 

              pumps, hoses etc.   

-Corinne Shock mentioned that we could apply for grants form the TNRD.  

-Clay suggested that we re-look at generating lists of: equipment already on hand, and 

             what equipment would be useful for a typical property, and where it can be purchased.

-Chris Wingenbach of Little Lac Le Jeune requested that we (The Society?)  generate an 

             inventory list of fire suppression equipment we already have in the community.

4. Should We be Working to Become a FireSmart Community?

Clay stated that gaining a FireSmart Community designation is a lot of work, and the current outcomes are a $500 grant and a plaque.  

Gwen Hetherington, who works in Wildfire management, said that FireSmart Communities are given a higher priority when tough choices have to be made due to large numbers of fires in the Province.

Bruce Mitchell, former chair of the LLJ FireSmart committee, stated that our FireSmart Community Plan was rejected because the FireSmart program is now focused on designating individual neighborhoods as FireSmart,  not a distributed community like Lac Le Jeune.

5. Gwen Hetherington: Ministry of Forests:

Gwen has recently transferred to the Thompson River District (TRD) and is responsible for working with Wildfire BC in our area.  She is also a Lac Le Jeune resident. The TRD has a budget of 1.3 million dollars to cover an area from Kamloops to Clearwater.  A study by Foresite in 2020 identified 11 priority areas around, and in, Lac Le Jeune for spacing and ladder material removal.  Some of the priority areas may have marketable timber so the TRD has approached BC Timber Sales to see if there is interest in some harvesting.  The 11 areas include: blocks west of the old Ski Hill, a section along Gus Johnson Trail, areas north of Little Lac Le Jeune and a few blocks by Walloper Lk. 

-Steve Banish asked about whether we could access Gus Johnson for firewood 

             collection due to the massive amount of deadfall. 

- Gwen responded that the area is part of BC Parks so it is not a simple answer.  If 

              access was to be granted, it would be for a short time period.

-Corinne Shock added that the overgrown areas along our access road will be 

             addressed this summer.

-Jim Crawchuck asked Gwen to add the area north of the LLJ subdivision, and south of 

              the lake as a priority.

-Perry Wingenbach requested that the area west of Little Lac Le Jeune be added as 

             another priority.  

-Gwen responded that wood removal on the Guichon Creek watershed (Meadow Creek) 

             is restricted due to a diminished water table.

-Tania Koester asked about removing deadfall between her home and Little LLJ.  

-Gwen responded that activity in the riparian area adjacent to the lake is not permitted.  

             Removal of deadfall in non-riparian zones is permitted only with a firewood licence.

Meeting adjourned at 11:30

Minutes recorded by Bruce Mitchell, vice chair LLJ Conservation Society

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Preparing for Wildfire Season

We're gathering to talk about wildfire season preparation. Refreshments will be provided.

Lac Le Jeune Provincial Campground Day Area Shelter
June 8, 10:00am


Clay Govett & Dean Redknap - Dumping at the ski hill of wood waste
Dean Redknap- Upcoming training to create a local fire crew or brigade.
Clay Govett & Dean Redknap- General awareness of what property owners can do to help protect their property
Clay Govett & Dean Redknap- Interest in purchasing additional gear to supply our own fire protection equipment
Gwen Hetherington- update from BC Wildfire Protection Services
Local Firesmart- TBA