Warden report, Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve- July,2013

Posted July 26, 2013 | Categories : 136,Human Disturbance,Warden Reports |

Warden report by Many Vaughan

Peter Hehl, Senior Park Ranger, and I, made a trip out to the Comox Bluffs ER late Friday afternoon, 26 July 2013.  As you know, Peter and fellow ranger Jeff had been out there the week before and found an apparently extinguished fire still burning underground.  On this trip, Peter and I found a similar scenario, a fire pit close to the beach in an open woody area, the fire apparently extinguished but when Peter turned the ashes with a shovel, there was smouldering wood.  We made certain to put the fire out using water from the lake, but with so much dry grass and woody debris around, fires are obviously a very significant concern, posing a risk not only to the bluffs but also to the extensive Timberwest forest lands in the area.  Fires are not allowed within the reserve at all, but as has been noted previously, there is easy access for motorcycles, ATVs and boats to the area.  We know from tire tracks that there is ongoing and significant ATV and motorcycle activity in the area and Timberwest were informed of our concerns earlier this year.

Peter and I found a group of young people on the beach, one of whom had a motorcycle.  The youth stated that he had walked the cycle in, but Peter informed him that such vehicles are not allowed in the reserve and after some complaining, the group left the area.  We picked up very large numbers of cigarette butts from around old campfire sites in the woods, together with other garbage.  Next weekend is a holiday weekend; I am not able to visit the reserve any time that weekend and as you know, Peter and other park staff will be deployed to high risk areas elsewhere.  I am concerned that there may be a high fire risk next weekend in particular, and I wonder if Timberwest are able to help in any way re a possible fire patrol.
— Mandy Vaughan