I’ve been following the conversation in your letters regarding the use of large mechanical brushcutters on highway rights of way in the area. Although I agree that the visual results are appalling (we see this south of Nelson on Highway 6), I would like to point out that the resulting mats of dead brush and needles pose a potential forest fire hazard.
We have been bombarded with articles about the necessity to Firesmart our properties and here we see a government contractor lining our highway margins with highly combustible fuels. In addition, the brushcutters inflict damage on live trees that may have the effect of hastening their demise, creating more fuel.
This problem isn’t restricted to highways contractors. A contractor for Fortis removed several dead and dying trees near the power line right of way at the bottom of our driveway and when questioned why they didn’t dispose of the litter, they told me that it wasn’t in their contract to remove the branches. Isn’t it about time that the various ministries and utilities joined the interface fire hazard remediation effort?