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County ditches becoming fire prone

Posted on April 30, 2019 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Justin Seward


Drier conditions have been a cause of concern in many areas of the local landscape, including county ditches.
“The dry ditches carry a large fuel load that can ignite easily from discarded smoking material,” said a county official.
Risks with the lack of moisture include the hampering of new grass growth, which lessens the burn rate from the old, dried out material that is still in the ditch, he added.
Officials are non optimistic that water will be filling the ditches anytime soon.
“It is not expected that ditches will fill due to low lying snow melt as that has passed. Ditches will more likely fill during heavy rain events,” he said.
A quick melt will depend on the warmer temperatures in May and June and how rapid freshet will occur. For the most part, larger waterways are affected.
However roads are on the upside to start off the spring.
“ Gravel roads have faired well throughout the past winter months with minimal concerns compared to last spring,” he said.
“Spring road construction has commenced slightly earlier this spring compared to previous seasons and weather permitting will dictate an early start to 2019 capital projects and the gravel road maintenance related programs.”

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