Tk’emlups te Secwepemc will resurrect traditional burning practices along the river this fall.
Coun. Jeanette Jules said the band will burn later this autumn at Indian point (where the North and South Thompson rivers meet, across from Riverside Park) and near the Halston Connector for a period of about two days.
Kamloops Fire Rescue had taken control of the band’s fuel management as part of a fire agreement with the city. However, Jules, in notifying the city on Monday at a community-to-community forum, said the area under KFR’s watch has been left to grow thick and has become a fire hazard.
“There’s places down there you can’t even walk,” Jules told KTW. “You used to be able to walk all the way in there. The weeds are taller than people in some places. The overgrowth, it’s really, really thick. And then, a lot of the dead fall. All of those need to be taken care of. It’s not taken care of. It really is a big fire hazard for us.”
The band has been criticized in the past for negatively impacting air quality as a result of its burning practices.
Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian noted, however, that residents have come to understand the importance of fuel management since the wildfires of 2017 and 2018. He advised the band to consult a meteorologist prior to burning, in order to ensure optimal venting.