TimberWest concerned about extreme fire hazard

NANAIMO, BC, July 29 /CNW/ - Concern for public safety during this extended period of hot, dry weather has prompted TimberWest Forest Corp. to take extra steps to reduce the risk of wildfire on its private managed forest lands.

The company, which owns approximately 320,000 hectares of private land on Vancouver Island, has already responded to ten, person-caused wildfires on its property so far this year. "Much of our land base is in close proximity to neighboring communities and the last thing we want is an interface fire," says TimberWest Vice President Timberland Operations, Dave Whiteley.

While the fire danger rating is extreme, TimberWest harvesting operations have been curtailed to reduce the chance that activities could spark a fire. Public access is also being restricted with the help of signage and locked gates, and in some cases security guards are helping enforce the closure. The Comox Lake Main Road is one example where, except for cabin owners and operational traffic, access is closed.

In conjunction with the campfire ban recently issued by the Ministry of Forests, TimberWest has also banned campfires on its private lands, including at its designated campgrounds at Nanaimo Lakes and in the Lake Cowichan area.

In 2009, TimberWest responded to a total of 35 wildfires on its land, the majority of which were caused by people.

TimberWest appreciates the public's understanding of efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire while conditions remain very hot and dry. To report a wildfire please call *5555 on your cellphone or toll-free to 1 800 663-5555. For more information about TimberWest please visit www.timberwest.com. -30-


For further information: For further information: Sue Handel, Communications Coordinator, TimberWest Forest Corp., 250-729-3744

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