The town of Smithers is putting plans in place to clean up the Perimeter Trail to mitigate wildfires.
Smithers Town Council awarded the contract to Flicker Land Management for an estimated maximum fee of $55,000 for the Perimeter Trail Wildfire Fuel Mitigation and Community Wildfire Resiliency Plan projects.
Mayor Gladys Atrill initially raised concerns about what the trail might look like and if wildlife corridors, and places for small animals to hide would be affected.
Councillor Frank Wray assured her that the plan was to clear underbrush to make it harder for fires to spread.
Director of Operations Chris Lawrence also told Atrill that the town is actively working with the Smithers Climate Action Group, which has done some tree planting in the wetland area. He also added that group has been working with Fire Chief Kelly Zacharias to avoid any conflict with the current fuel mitigation programs
The town has received money for the wildfire mitigation projects from UBCM grants under the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) program for FireSmart Community Funding and Supports funding.
Mitigating the wildfire potential of the treed sloped areas along the Perimeter Trail was targeted as a high priority for this project.
The fire chief and town staff have met with Flicker Land Management who provided professional service proposals for completing the CRI grant programs.
According to a staff report Flicker has the expertise and resources to provide professional services to complete the contract documents, educational material and plan development and to perform project and construction management.
The firm will work closely with Tyhee Forestry Consultants, who developed the contract specifications last year, to complete the task within budget and schedule.