Cherryville is a community of 1000 residents in the Shuswap River valley between Sugar Lake and Mabel Lake. There is no organized fire department for 340 houses,
in rural residential settings. The area has a strong rural character focussing on agriculture
and forestry sectors, as well as tourism and recreation opportunities. Our community is geographically diverse with a large flat bottom valley basin surrounded by steep forested hillsides. There are also significant private and crown forestlands within the community.
Cherryville Community Forest is located on Cherry and Heckman ridges immediately adjacent to rural residence/forest interface neighbourhoods. This 1070 ha tenure is located in the transition zone of the ICH and IDF BEC zones within the Okanagan Shuswap Forest District.
Cherry Ridge Management Committee, a non profit society registered in British Columbia, has managed the forest resource on Cherry Ridge since 1995 in cooperation with the Okanagan Shuswap Forest District. CRMC has recently received a CFA on two blocks of local forest land on Cherry and Heckman Ridges.
CRMC wants to mitigate the risk of wildfires in our community by completing fuel modification projects on the Community Forest and other Cherryville Crown lands. The purpose of this project has been to define risk areas for interface fires, identify measures necessary to mitigate those risks, outline a plan of action, and implement the appropriate measures. During the past six months we have performed all these functions within the limitations of our FIA funds.
As a community we are committed to the achievable goal of making our wildland interface areas fire resistant and fire smart. We have lost two houses to fire in an interface setting since we proposed this initiative. We wish to collaborate with neighbouring communities and government agencies on hazard abatement and fuel modification projects.