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Fighting Fire with Fire : Towards a New Park Typology Tier, Alix 2020-05

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Fighting Fire with Firetowards a new park typologyFighting Fire with Firetowards a new park typologyAuthor: Alix TierAdvisor: Susan HerringtonExternal Advisor: Sophie MaguireMay 2020Submitted in partial fullfillment for the Master of Landscape ArchitectureSchool of Architecture and Landscape ArchitectureUniversity of Bristish ColumbiaRelease FormLandscape ArchitectureSchool of Architecture and Landscape ArchitectureUniversity of British ColoumbiaName: Alix TierUBC Student Number: Graduate Project Title: Fighting Fire with Fire: Towards a New Park TypologyIn presenting this report in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Master of Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia, I agree that UBC may make this work freely available for reference or study. I give permission for copying the report for educational purposes in accordance with copyright laws.Name     Signature     DateviiABstractWildfires have left their mark on the British Columbia landscape for centuries. As we continue to inhabit land closer to fire prone areas, these fires and our relationship to them will continue to shape the landscape and our communities as we know them.This project explores the role of landscape architects and designers in moving towards a new type of wildfire management that considerers both the utilitarian and experiential qualities of various management practices. While maintaining the functional value of these practices, the project investigates how the layering of different value systems including recreation, education, economic and habitat values can contribute to changing our current understanding of fire. The project moves towards a new park typology that seeks to challenge our social, cultural and ecological relationship to fire, particularly in fire prone communities of British Columbia.ixTa b l e  o f  C o n t e n t sRelease FormAbstractTable of contentsList of FiguresPa rt    I 1 .  I n t r o d u c t i o n  Thesis Statement Timeline - situating the problem in BC Project Schedule2 .  R e s e a r c h  / /  D i s c u s s i o n Key Terms  Starting Fire  Fuelling Fire  Living with Fire Resilience in the landscape 3 .  A p p r o a c h   Precedent Studies  Planning for Disaster — Living Breakwaters, SCAPE  New Practices — The Digital & The Wild, Jordan Dukes    Methodology  Selection CriteriaPa rt    I I  4 .  s i t e  / /  a n a lys i s  Site Fire Basics Fuel Types Slope Current Condition vviiviiix131 12 7  3 941 5 .  m a n a g e m e n t  / /  d e s i g n Goals Objectives  Thinning Management Plan Prescribed Burn Management Plan  Management Mosaic6 .  s i t e  / /  d e s i g n Recreation  Real Time Data Collection and Projection Communtiy Engagement Concluding Remarks7 .  R e f e r e n c e s Works Cited 477 71 0 1xiLIST  OF  FIGURESFigure 1.0: Popular Science, Chapter 1 cover photoFigure 1.1: Tier, Timeline of Forest Fires in British ColumbiaFigure 2.0: NASA, Chapter 2 cover photoFigure 2.1: Tier, The three concentric zones of defensible spaceFigure 2.2: Tier, Shaded Fire breakFigure 2.3: Tier, Fire breakFigure 2.4: American Planning Institute, Continuum of wildland to urban densitiesFigure 2.5: Tier, Thinning Figure 2.6: Tier, Raised canopy Figure 2.7: Tier, Removal of understory vegetationFigure 2.8: Lomakatsi Restoration Project, Prescribed burn in progressFigure 2.9: National Forest Service, Yellowstone fire history from 1881-2018Figure 2.10: National Museum of Forest Service History, Smokey the bear posterFigure 2.11: High Park Nature, Prescribed burn in-progress in High ParkFigure 2.12: High Park Nature, After prescribed burn in High ParkFigure 2.13: Fort McMurray after the 2016 FireFigure 2.14: Fort McMurray after the 2016 FireFigure 2.15: Fort McMurray after the 2016 FireFigure 3.0: Science News, Chapter 3 cover photoFigure 3.1: SCAPE, Living Breakwaters collageFigure 3.2: SCAPE, Example of a risk reducing intervention (Living Breakwaters)Figure 3.3: SCAPE, Example of one of the typologies presented (Living Breakwaters)Figure 3.4: SCAPE, Example of one of the typologies presented (Living Breakwaters)Figure 3.5: SCAPE, ‘Water Hub’ programming (Living Breakwaters)Figure 3.6: Dukes, Overview of the three landscape interventions and their response to fire Figure 3.7: Dukes, Landscape intervention 1, weather modifiers Figure 3.8: Dukes, Landscape intervention 2, erosion accelerantsFigure 3.9: Dukes, Landscape intervention 3, artificial watering holeFigure 3.10: Dukes, Locational, anthropogenic, environmental wildfire variablesFigure 4.0: Chapter 4 cover photoFigure 4.1: Tier, City of Nelson in the BC contextFigure 4.2: Tier, City of NelsonFigure 4.3: City of Nelson Archives, City of NelsonFigure 4.4: City of Nelson Archives, City of NelsonFigure 4.5: City of Nelson Archives, City of Nelson36-7111213131414141415181921212525252728303030313234343435414345464747Figure 4.6: City of Nelson Archives, City of NelsonFigure 4.7: City of Nelson, City of NelsonFigure 4.8: Tier, Fire triangleFigure 4.9: Tier, Fire causesFigure 4.10: Tier, Fire TypeFigure 4.11: Tier, Fire TypeFigure 4.12: Tier, Fire TypeFigure 4.13: Tier, Vegetation HealthFigure 4.14: Tier, Vegetation DensityFigure 4.15: Tier, Slope and AspectFigure 4.17: Tier, ThinningFigure 4.18: Tier, Removal of understory vegetationFigure 4.19: Tier, Raised canopyFigure 4.20: Tier, Fuel breakFigure 4.21: Tier, Shaded fuel breakFigure 4.22: Tier, Prescribed burningFigure 5.0: Yale, Chapter 5 cover photoFigure 6.0: Nasa, Chapter 6 cover photoFigure 7.0: Popular Science, Chapter 7 cover photo474850505050505151515353535353536577101part  IStaging the Fire1introduction5IntroductionJune 17th, 2019 — Canada declares climate emergency. The Earth is heating up at an unprecedented rate and as a result climate is changing. Climate change has a number of consequences including the increase in frequency and magnitude of natural disasters — fire is changing the landscape of British Columbia. As fires grow in strength our ability to mitigate their effects on human landscapes decreases, increasing tensions between human and non-human priorities. As we loose control of the landscapes around us due to a history of poor fire management, we are at a critical point in time where we must challenge how we think about and manage fire — we must be proactive rather than reactive. Where much of fire management in the past has prioritized singular goals, either suppression or ecological restoration, landscape architects have the opportunity to challenge current management practices and design with fire in a way that navigates tensions between human and non-human stakeholders, balancing the needs of both. With a professional and working knowledge of both human and non-human stakeholders, landscape architects are uniquely positioned as a discipline to play a stronger role in the management of fire and how it burns within the landscape in which we co-habitat together as human and non-human species. Thesis StatementThis project seeks to explore how landscape architects and designers can be better involved in moving towards a new type of wildfire management that considers both the utilitarian and the experiential qualities of various management practices. Through the layering of different value systems, including recreation, education, economic and habitat value, landscape architects and designers have the ability to contribute to changing the current societal understanding of fire’s role in the landscape, and move towards a new park typology that challenges society’s social, cultural and ecological relationship to fire, particularly in fire prone communities of British Columbia.201020001990 2020198019601950194019301920 1970191019002018. North Baezaeko. 11,508 ha.2018. Shag Creek. 12,322 ha.2018. Tweedsmuir Complex. 258,538 ha.2018. Hugh Allen Creek. 10,000 ha.2010. Pelica Lake Complex. 35,506 ha.2010. Bull Canyon Complex. 35,000 ha.2004. Lonesome Lake. 22,745 ha. 2010. NW Meldrum Creek. 47,293 ha.2011. Blue River. 11,000 ha.2017. Chilcotin Plateau. 545,151 ha.2017. Kleena Kleene. 25,558 ha.1998. Salmon Arm. 6,000 ha.2018. Alkali Lake. 118,318 ha.2017. Hanceville Riske Creek. 241,160 ha.2003. McLure. 26,420 ha.2003. Chilco Lake. 29,202 ha. 2009. Lava Canyon. 66,719 ha.2017. White Lake. 13,211 ha.2017. Elephant Hill. 191,865 ha.2015. Elaho. 12,523 ha.2018. Island Lake. 20,468 ha.2017. Wildwood. 12733, ha.2003. Lamb Creek. 11,882 ha.2003. McGillivray. 10,979 ha.2003. Okanagan Mountain. 25,600 ha.2018. Snowy Mountain. 17,068 ha.2009. Kelly Creek. 20,925 ha.2018. Cool Creek. 14,372 ha.1983. Houston. 18,000 ha.2004. McBride River. 14,000 ha.1958. Kech. 225,920 ha.2003. Midwinter Lake. 32,000 ha.2004. Coal River. 32,000 ha.2009. Junction Smith & Lyard River. 23,182 ha.2018. Lutz Creek. 100,799 ha.2004. Kotcho Lake. 13,325 ha.1950. Fort St.John. 1,400,000 ha.2012. White Spruce Creek. 24,852 ha.1908. Fernie. 25,900 ha.2012. Suhm Creek. 12,196 ha.2006. Dall Lake. 10,600 ha.2010. Sheslay River. 28,000 ha.2006. Mt.Hamelin. 12,051 ha.2018. Tommy Lakes. 21,795 ha.2014. Forres Mountain. 29,672 ha.2016. Beatton Airport Road. 15,739 ha.2016. Siphon Creek Road. 62,700 ha.2018. W Babine River. 10,800 ha.2014. Tenakihi-Mesilinka. 64,576 ha.2004. Swan Lake. 29,962 ha.2018. Shovel Lake. 92,255 ha.2014. Red Deer Creek. 33,547 ha.2010. Bella Coola.2018. Tezzeron Lake. 10,602 ha.2018. Verdun Lake. 34,586 ha.2018. Nadina Lake. 85,428 ha.2010. Binta Lake. 40,000 ha.2004. Kenney. 10,300 ha.2005. Tatuk Lake. 12,371 ha.2014. Chelaslie River. 133,098 ha.2015. Little Bobtail Lake. 25,569 ha.2018. Chutanli Lake. 20,412 ha.2014. Mt McAllister. 26,273 ha.2006. Nascosli Ecological Reserve. 11,500 ha.2006. Tezla Lake. 10,961 ha.2010. Tsacha. 13,087 ha.2014. Euchiniko. 21,518 ha.2017. Kluskoil Lake. 21,870 ha.2012. Johnsons Landing.This timeline maps fires over 10,000 hectares in British Columbia since 1900. It allows us to see concentrated pockets of risk in BC and where fires have been reoccurring over time. By mapping these fires both geographically and through time, we are quickly able to see a shift in fire regime and management practices. In the earlier 1900s some larger fires burned. This is prior to management practices that suppressed at all cost. We can assume that in the early 1900s a number of fires were burning, but due to low levels of fuel because of frequent burning, fires rarely grew large in size and were able to suppress themselves naturally. Closer to the 1940s, a distinct era of fire suppression began, with few large fires and even fewer small scale fires. During this time, fires were often extinguished within 24 hours of ignition. The early 2000s point to a new era of fire management, one where fire can no longer be traditionally controlled and managed as the result of previously poor management practices. Fires during this time and into the present have taken control and many have been unmanageable, destroying many human and non-human habitats with their intensity. This is the result of many factors including changing climate and poor management practices in the past century. With forest litter built up on the forest floor over many decades and insects destroying large swaths of forest, BC’s forests have been left with significant amounts of dry and dead fuel to burn.This timeline points to the need for new management practices that allow for a more equal distribution between conflict and benefit when managing forest fires. Management practices cannot have a singular goal, but must consider all the possible human and non-human stakeholders and what proper management would look like to them. 9Literature ReviewPrecedent StudiesWriting Research DrawingsSite AnalysisDesign CriteriaConceptual DesignDetail DesignFinal ProductionBooklet AssemblyDecember          January                     February         March     April1      2      3      4      5      6      7      8      9      10      11      12      13      14      15      16 GP1                   GP22Research //Discussion13key termsFuelFuel refers to any debris (forest litter, discarded scraps from urban areas, etc.) that fire could easily burn in the case of fire. Defensible SpaceDefensible space is a fire management strategy that involves individual homeowners clearing an area around their home to help reduce the threat of a property catching fire in the event of a forest fire (Smith & Rebori, 2001). Shrubs, trees and structures around the home provide fuel to fires and allow more places for an amber from a surrounding fire to catch and spread a fire. This includes: plant resins and oils, leaves or long thin needles, dead leaves and twigs, bark and yard scraps (FEMA, 2008). Defensible space can be classified into three zones; Zone 1 is within 30 feet of the home and should remove all material that could catch fire with regular maintenance. Zone 2 allows vegetation in well spaced clumps a minimum distance of 30m from a home with regular maintenance. It also utilized walkways and driveways as fire breaks within a yard. Zone 3 requires thinning and pruning of vegetation further than 100 feet of a home, helping to slow a fire before reaching zone 2 rather than attempting to stop the fire (FEMA, 2008). Fire SmartingFire Smarting is a management tool for residential homeowners to understand how to better organize their property to mitigate the effects of wildfire (FireSmart Canada, 2019). Fire Smarting principles are very similar to defensible space with the materials of infrastructure on site also taken into account.Zone 3: Reduce fuels by thinning and pruning vegetation horizontally and verticallyZone 1: Eliminate all combustible materials within 30 feet of the homeZone 1: Remove combustible litter on roofs and gutters and trim tree branches that overhang the roof and chimneyZone 2: Place woodpiles at least 30 feet from the building and store the wood in a vegetation-free zone such as a graveled areaZone 2: Prune and remove dead and dying branches from individual and well-spaced clumps of trees and shrubsFigure 2.1. The three concentric zones of defensible space. (Tier, 2020), Adapted from FEMA, 2008.Fire BreaksFire breaks are large clearcuts of land, generally a similar width to the height of nearby vegetation and increase in size with steeper slopes. They are sometimes built with fuel breaks on either side which consist of a 1 metre deep ditch (Partners in Protection, 2003). Fire breaks are often placed within the WUI zone in order to increase separation and reduce risk. Their implementation largely contributes to the slowing down of a fire approaching the urban area and similarly allows for large machinery and fire managers to access the area quickly and efficiently in the case of a wildfire, significantly improving the chance of fire protection (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017). Similar to the harm reduction for human habitat, implementing fire breaks helps to reduce the impacts on wildlife habitat and protects other sensitive areas from soil compaction by creating a clear path for heavy machinery used in fighting wildfires (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017). Another fire break option is the shaded fire break. This refers to a fire break similar in size to a normal break, but allows some of the forest canopy to remain. The effectiveness of either would be similar in the case of a low surface fire, with the understanding that the forest floor would be similarly clear of debris in either case and only fire resistant tree species would be left. The effectiveness of the shaded fire break would decrease in the case of a larger canopy fire, but the aesthetic impacts would be significantly lower (Agee et al., 2000). Similarly, a shaded fuel break allows more moisture to remain in the ground and helps to protect the understory from strong winds, both of which are helpful to slowing the spread of a wildfire. A shaded fire break is somewhat comparable to the method of canopy thinning, but at a different scale (Agee et al. 2000). TOP Figure 2.2. Shaded fire break. (Tier, 2020)BOTTOM Figure 2.3. Fire break. (Tier, 2020)15Canopy ThinningCanopy thinning is a management practice that involves removing areas of vegetation and lower canopy allowing for more space between vegetation and a clear understory. This is done in order to reduce the negative implications of wildfires and often targets vegetation that is at higher risk of catching fire such as dead or dying trees and non-fire resistant species. In thinning the canopy, there is more opportunity to redistribute growing potential for new trees and more fire resistant species (Graham et al., 1999). Unlike a fire break, long term habitat disturbance is minimized, however, this management technique requires large machinery which can cause significant disturbance to species habitat and result in soil compaction (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017).Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)The Wildland Urban Interface is a land-use type that describes an area where three factors are present — human presence, wildland vegetation and a minimal distance between the two without any fixed boundaries (Stewart et al., 2007). Since the early 2000s a need for resource managers to consider the implications of this zone has been identified as more development occurs in it, increasing the implications and proximity of fire to human habitats. This expansions occurs as residential home owners are wanting to live near urban areas while maintaining contact to the natural landscape (Stewart et al., 2007). The WUI increases fuel loads in the area separating forest and urban, increasing the overall impacts of fire on human habitat and making it easier for fire to travel between the two. As the WUI continues to grown in North America, it has been identified as an area of concern for fire and resource managers. It is generally characterized by low density and single family homes (Stewart et al., 2007). Figure 2.4. Continuum of wildland to urban densities (American Planning Association, 2018)Prescribed BurningPrescribed burning is a fire management tool that can provide a number of forest fire safety and habitat benefits if done correctly, but also has reasonable short term implications for neighbouring communities and significant negative implications such as erosion if not done properly under the right conditions. It is largely used as a fire management tool to quickly and efficiently reduce surface fuels as well as clearing the lower canopy of a forest stand. This method is particular as it mimics a normal fire regime which can have very positive effects on local ecology considering the history of fire suppression in British Columbia. Benefits include: enhanced food sources for grizzlies and deers; decrease in invasive plant species; destruction of fungal pathogens in trees and soil; improving diversity of plant communities; improved forest health; and maintenance of a safer WUI boundary (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017). Figure 2.8. Prescribed burn in progress (Lomakatsi Restoration Project, 2005)TOP Figure 2.5. Thinning. (Tier, 2020)MIDDLE Figure 2.6. Raised canopy. (Tier, 2020)BOTTOM Figure 2.7. Removal of understory vegetation. (Tier, 2020)Photo RemovedPhoto Removed17Starting   FireForest fires in British Columbia have been part of the Earth’s natural cycle for over 40 million years, long before humans began to take an increasingly present role in the control of fire regimes around 600,000 years ago (Bowman et al., 2011)(O’Connor et al., 2011)(Gillson et al., 2019). These fires are the result of both physical and human causes. Since the turn of the twentieth century, fires in BC have gradually increased in frequency and magnitude as have damage to human and non-human stakeholders with the effects of an era of fire suppression starting to be more visible and well understood (Schultz and Moseley, 2019). Fire occurrence can cause significant conflict for both human and non-human stakeholders affecting general habitat and livelihood. Adjacently, fire, as a natural element and part of the cycle of many landscapes, contributes many benefits to stakeholders within these fire prone regions resulting in tension between conflict and benefit. Understanding the causes and effects of forest fires is thus critical in order to have a more comprehensive understanding of fire and its role within the landscape prior to designing in fire prone areas. Similarly, in order to design in a landscape that is subject to the effects of fire, it is important to understand how fires burn, the different types of fires and the effects of fire on a variety of materials — those brought into the landscape, those already existing in landscape and those that previously existed in the landscape.Understanding the FirePrior to discussing the cause of fire and its role in design and in the landscape, it is important to gain a basic understanding of fire itself. Fire requires three elements to burn: heat, oxygen and a consistent source of fuels — these are known as the ‘fire triangle’ (Natural Resource Canada, 2019). Once lit, the fire is likely to move in the direction with the most fuel. In forests that have not interacted with fire in extended periods of time, fuel is heavily available leading to the consistently destructive fires BC has been experiencing in over the past decade. In order to put a fire out, one of the triangle elements must be removed. This is most often done by lowering the fuel’s temperature below the point of combustion, removing the oxygen supply or by removing the fuel available to the fire  (Natural Resource Canada, 2019). Fire’s movement and ability to spread is further affected by the surrounding topography, health and type of vegetation (Gilson et al. 2019). Fire moving up a slope will move significantly quicker than fires moving down slope. Up slope, the fire will always be closer to its next fuel source, pre-heating the surface of the slope and making it quick to ignite once the flame itself reaches the surface (Auburn, n.d.). In general, fires moving up slope will double in speed for every 10 percent slope change whereas fires moving down slope will halve in speed for every 10 percent slope change (Country Fire Authority, 2019). Winds are similarly more likely to influence a fire moving upslope and help it to move more quickly. Fire moving downslope will move more slowly than fire moving upslope or on the flat with no pre-heating occurring and wind rarely playing a significant role. Aspect plays a role only on South facing slopes where the sun has already warmed the slope (Auburn, n.d.).Depending on the speed and intensity of the fire and the type of surrounding vegetation, there are three different forest fire types that can occur: crown fires, surface fires and ground fires. A crown fire is of high threat, spreading quickly from one tree crown to another, burning the entirety of the tree and leaving the tree at very low risk of survival  (Natural Resource Canada, 2019). Surface fires are the least threatening type of fire, burning surface litter as fuel and rarely reaching a height over two metres. This makes them much easier to control and extinguish when necessary (Lyndon et al., 2019). Ground fires are slow moving and occur below the surface (leaves and peat) making them difficult to detect and put out. They have the ability to remain below the surface during warm winters and reemerge without warning in the spring making them particularly dangerous (Natural Resource Canada, 2019). Igniting the Fire Lighting accounts for the majority of naturally occurring fires in BC and nearly 60% of the province’s forest fires overall (Government of British Columbia, 2019). Historically, lightning fires have affected unsettled areas burning large swaths of land with high ecological value, but have rarely disturbed urbanized areas with implications to human settlement  (Natural Resource Canada, 2019). As settlements spread and more areas become developed, so does the risk of wildfire to human settlement. The WUI is identified as the most rapidly growing land-use type in North America and the most threatened by fire (Schultz and Moseley, 2019). These naturally occurring fires are further worsened by other factors such as heatwaves, drought and mountain pine beetle damaged forests. In BC, average temperatures have risen 1.4 degrees Celsius from 1990 to 2013 and are projected to increase to 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2050 (Government of British Columbia, 2015). With this future increase in temperatures, wildfire risk is expected to increase with more frequent and severe drought and further pest infestations that leave dry and dead trees behind as they make their way through BC’s forests (Government of British Columbia, 2019). This will not only impact BC’s forests, but economy as agricultural land becomes more at risk, as well as residential areas. In addition to physical causes of forest fires, human caused fires account for 40% of the fires in the BC landscape. They are often the result of open burning, vehicles, cigarettes, campfires, downed power lines, etc (Government of British Columbia, 2019). Human caused fires, similar to naturally occurring fires, are further exacerbated by other factors, such as heatwaves, drought and beetle damage to trees. Fire Suppression EraOn top of the cause of ignition itself, BC’s wildfire problem exists in such a way today because of past management practices and policies. The regime of fire suppression has reigned in BC for many decades and has only been regarded as no longer a best practice in the past one to two decades. The era of fire suppression has had significant impact on the magnitude of the fires we have been facing in the past ten plus years. Previously, fires were allowed to burn more freely and frequency (every 10-40 years), allowing these stockpiles of fuel to remain smaller as the result of regular burning. This prevented fires from growing out of control in ways that caused long-term damage to large swaths forest (Gillson et al. 2019). With the expansion of the WUI, the risk to human settlement and a forestry based economy became more significant (Schultz and Moseley, 2019). As a result, fire suppression policies came into affect that called for all fires to be contained and put out (Gillson et al. 2019). This regime led to a build up of debris and litter on the forest floor, making it easy for both natural (ex.lightning) and human caused fires to ignite quickly and intensely, increasing the risk of destruction with every passing year (Gillson et al. 2019). This has left many communities in British Columbia and elsewhere in a vulnerable position where protection from fire in the past has lead to very large fires in the present, making it very difficult if not impossible to control fire in the present.Moving into the current day, we begin to acknowledge and better understand the role of fire in the landscape and are starting to implement new management practices such as prescribed burning, canopy thinning, fire breaks and defensible space in fire prone areas we have settled. However, due to the frequency and intensity of fire and its risk, we are often still reacting to large-scale fire events rather than being proactive to them (Gillson et al. 2019). This in part has to do with the cost of labour associated with these new management practices that are largely labour, time and financially intensive. These fire fighting efforts consume the majority of the available budgets, leaving little for proactive fire management (North et al, 2015). An example of this is where in the past smaller fires would have burned up litter on the forest floor, individual labourers would now need to go in and clear large amounts of litter that pose risk, an activity that is labour, time and money intensive.19Fuelling  FireFire : Conflict and Benefit Forest fires play an important role in the ecological health of forests, but due to their threat to human assets, they pose significant tensions between the values of conflict and benefit. During the era of fire suppression, the ecological benefits of fire were less well understood, with their impact on human development taking precedence. This lead to a high rate of suppression, further increasing the risks associated to fire today as the regular frequency of fire regimes were disrupted. As human settlements further develop in the WUI, the risk of fire affecting settlement has increased from the previous. Case Study: Yellowstone National ParkIn 1988, after decades of fire suppression, Yellowstone National Park became consumed by over 250 fires, burning over 3,213 km2 of the park between June 14, 1988 and November 8, 1988. The fires cost over 250 million dollars in manual efforts with property damage estimated around six million dollars (National Park Service, 2017). From the 1930’s to the 1960’s fire suppression was seen as best practice in wildfire management, with the US Forest Fire Service stipulating the need for fires to be put out by ten AM the day following a fire being spotted (US Forest Service, 2001). In 1944, Smokey the Bear, a cartoon bear was used to head a fire suppression program with the slogan, “only you can prevent forest fires”. This program emphasized the human fault in forest fires, misleading the public to believe that the majority of forest fires are human caused (USDA Forest Service, 2005). In reality, most fires are naturally caused. In the 1970’s a general understanding that not all fires should be suppressed came about and National Parks began to allow controlled natural burning fires to occur. Between 1972 and 1987, these naturally occurring fires were allowed to burn a total of 137 km2 (Reichard, 2015). However, in 1988, after a high drought year and swaths of forest killed by the mountain pine beetle, fires became too strong to suppress, leading to the disastrous fires that burned, largely fuelled by the previous era of fire suppression (Reichard, 2015). With large parts of the park ravaged by fire, there was fear for what the park would become. Aesthetically, the initial impact of the fires was quite strong, with much of the forest burned or downed. However, a few days after the fires, fireweed began to quickly fill in the forest floor with wildflowers coming in not long after (National Park Service, 2000). Other plants that were originally on site began to quickly come back within five years of the fire. The surrounding Lodgepole pines began to plant their seeds that had been opened by the fires, with the dead tree trunks often still standing and providing a raised habitat for a variety of bird species and other wildlife (National Park Service, 2000). Aspen trees began to come in shortly after, bringing an increase of larger wildlife such as deer, elk and grizzlies, who enjoy them for grazing and who’s populations had been decreasing in the park for a number of years (National Park Service, 2000). Overall non-human species responded quite well to the fires, creating a more dynamic mosaic of forest than previously existing along with other benefits (National Park Service, 2000). Damage to structures were minimal, with 67 of 1000 structures in the park being destroyed, as fire fighting efforts were concentrated around these areas (National Park Service, 2017). Figure 2.9. Yellowstone fire history from 1881-2018 (National Forest Service, 2019)Due to the magnitude of the area affected by fire and the history of fire suppression as management, Yellowstone National Park became an area of study to better understand the relationships between the conflicts and benefits of fire for human and non-human stakeholders. Altogether, this fire season lead to new guidelines being developed for best practices around fire management. Naturally occurring fires are now allowed to burn more freely under strict guidelines, while human caused fires are still strictly suppressed (National Park Service, 2019). The 1988 fires helped to better understand the relationship between fire and healthy ecosystems as well and the benefits and consequences of wildfires for a variety of stakeholders. Management strategies before and after the Yellowstone fires of 1988 have influenced fire management practices across North America and helped forest and fire managers to better understand the implication of fire in the landscape. Although shifting perspectives have been occurring in the scientific community, there is still some ways to go regarding the public’s perception of fire and the different management practice due to fear and aesthetic loss of certain practices. The transition to better management is critical if communities are to protect themselves from the risk of fire while allowing the benefits of fire to play out in the landscape as well. Figure 2.10: Smokey the bear poster (National Museum of Forest Service History, 1967)Photo RemovedPhoto Removed21Living  with   FireNew EraSince the 1970’s the ecological importance of fire began to be better understood, and further better understood after the Yellowstone fires of 1988 (National Park Service, 2019).This led to a shift from the era of fire suppression as the result of a better understanding of the role of fire in the landscape, to a new era of fire management. This approach to fire management is continually shifting as we better understand the role of fire in the landscape, working with it to better understanding how human and non-human habitats can be protected without suppressing the natural forest cycle and the many associated benefits.Case Study: High Park Prescribed Burning“On April 15th, rising clouds of smoke were seen and smelled from within Toronto’s High Park well before entering the park. It was still a lovely spring day, however, and cyclists, runners, and dog walkers continued on as normal. The only complainer was a man near the tennis courts who, ironically, was smoking a cigarette.” (Forest Ontario, n.d.)Since 2000, the City of Toronto has been using prescribed burning as a fire management tactic for ecological restoration and vegetation management in High Park. Implementation of the prescribed burn requires a detailed plan that factors in temperature, wind patterns and humidity, then mimicking the effect of a natural forest fire (Forest Ontario, n.d.). Fires cycles occurred naturally in this area prior to the surrounding urban development that lead to suppression of fire in the park in the past 100 years (High Park Nature, 2019). Since restoration of the fire cycle in the park, the growth of native species has improved and exotic plant species are being better managed. Yearly monitoring of the burn sites has shown significant improvement in native plant community patches, particularly for the black oak and wild lupin, two species that are important to the ecological character of the area and supply the surrounding wildlife with a source of food. In the case of the wild lupin, it is the only food source for the larvae of the extirpated Karner blue butterfly (High Park Nature, 2019). In addition to the ecological benefits of the prescribed burning, it has also brought attention to the role of fire in the landscape and its importance as an ecological management tool. Being that High Park is located in a populated urban area which does not often see landscape management interventions of this scale, the burns provide safe access to education and awareness on the issue of fire management, which affects many areas within the Canadian landscape. With a near twenty year presence in the park, this management practice now goes reasonably unnoticed by local residents and visitors even with the near one metre high flames, thick clouds of smoke, smell and blackened ground (Forest Ontario, n.d.). Over the years an understanding for the fire’s benefit in the landscape has been better understood, with many individuals taking a keen interest in watching and further learning about burning practices. Figure 2.12: Prescribed burn in-progress in High Park (High Park Nature, 2019)Figure 2.11: After prescribed burn in High Park (High Park Nature, 2019)“That day, audiences gathered along Centre Road in the park. It was a unique opportunity to watch forestry professionals at work in a way that is usually not available in the city.” (Forest Ontario, n.d.)Photo RemovedPhoto Removed23Role of Education, Public Perception and Aesthetics in Fire ManagementUnderstanding the role of fire management in the protection of fire prone communities is critical to being able to properly manage and live with fire. However, education, perception and aesthetics are often limitations to proper management (Natural Resource Canada, 2016). Although individuals in fire prone communities are beginning to better understand the risks, there is often a lack of translation into action. This can be due to not fully understanding the immediate dangers of fire (Natural Resource Canada, 2016). Similarly, many homeowners, particularly those living in the WUI are attracted to the more “natural” aesthetic and are therefore reluctant to implement management strategies such as defensible space that would make their properties more bare (Natural Resource Canada, 2016). Engaging the public in fire education will help to better understand the relationship between risk and aesthetic and allow homeowners to better understand the outcomes of proper and poor fire management. Living in the Urban Wildland InterfaceThose living in the WUI are at an increased risk of experiencing the consequences of wildfire. Not only are they located near or within major fuel sources, many of these communities are largely based in economies that rely on the resources present and affected by wildfire. The Canadian government has emphasized the critical importance of working with the perception of fire in these communities in order to help minimize the affects of fire on their livelihood (Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, 2005) Resilience  in the LandscapeNon-Human ResilienceEcological resilience is much better adapted than human resilience, with many species directly adapted to fire conditions and some even requiring these conditions. Resilience for non-humans is defined by their capacity to adapt to change continuously (Berkes and Folke, 1998). This definition is continuing to be adapted as we continue to study non-human species and as we continue to understand how we can better work with non-human species to foster both human and non-human resiliency together. SCAPE’s Living Breakwaters project does a great job of exploring resiliency as the idea of improving a condition rather than retaining a condition. This project will be further explored in the coming section.Human ResilienceHuman resilience to fire is greatly dependent on our capacity to adapt, rebuild and reconnect to place after the presence of a wildfire. Unlike some plant species, we are not physically adapted to fire. As a result, fire can have devastating implications on social, cultural and economic resilience of a settled area if an uncontrolled fire approaches. Case Study: Fort McMurrayIn the Spring of 2016, Fort McMurray, a resource extraction based town in Northern Alberta experienced a devastating fire that left much of the community displaced and without a home, much of the area affected living within the WUI. Since this event, understanding the risks and knowing how to better protect residents of the WUI has been at the forefront of social fire research in Canada (Westhaver, 2017). For the town of Fort McMurray, residents are still working on rebuilding and reconnecting to a place that caused significant grief and hardship. Although the town’s population has since decreased by a few thousand, many chose to return, viewing this place as home, or remaining through hardship because of the economic prospect (Hayward, 2017). For many, there remains hope in home and community, knowing that there is strength in rebuilding. As we can see in the case of Fort McMurray, a town many of us with no attachment too would likely not stay after such a catastrophic disaster. This points to an important component of human resilience during disaster — attachment to place. For humans, emotions are more ingrained into our ability to be resilient, more so than non-human species that instinctively are drawn to survival. In understanding the role of resilience in design, this will be particularly important as how a design adapts to fire will directly affect the ability of both humans and non-humans to be resilient.Figures 2.13-15. Fort MacMurray after the 2016 fire (2016).Photo RemovedPhoto RemovedPhoto Removed3Approach29Precedent Study: Planning for DisasterProject Name: Living BreakwatersLocation: Tottenville, Staten Island, NY, USADesigned by: SCAPE / Landscape Architecture PLLCDates: 2014-2019Through a series of phased interventions, this projects aims to empower, social and ecological resilience while reducing the threat of flooding. At the forefront of the project, the opportunity for education, engagement and interconnected systems helps to guide many of the interventions across a variety of scales and an effort to layer these principles in each intervention is made. The project’s interventions seek to reimagine the coastal edge in preparation for a future large storm event while strengthening the resilience of the edge itself and the communities in the greater area by incorporating a better understanding of coastal risk and need for a better understanding of natural processes into the design itself (SCAPE & Landscape Architecture PLLC., n.d.). The intervention itself encompasses, a living breakwater that encourages juvenile salmon habitat, oyster garden restoration, shoreline restoration and a series of ‘water hubs’ that include programming for: bird watching, solar energy, classrooms, restaurants, gathering, kayak and bicycle storage, etc. These interventions serve as tools for social, cultural and ecological resiliency. It recognized humans as having an important role in the ecosystem and their importance in fostering all types of resiliency. This project was designed in 2014 following a competition call by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Rebuild by Design in 2013. This call for proposals was initiated as the result of Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 (SCAPE & Landscape Architecture PLLC., n.d.). Living Breakwaters’ strong focus on combining social and ecological resilience goes beyond maintaining the current condition, but further strives to improve these conditions to benefit the multitude of stakeholders, both human and non-human. This is a particularly important approach, and one that further strengthens the project’s value in resiliency. Similarly, it pushes and clearly defines the project’s definition of resiliency as a bettering of a condition, rather than the maintenance of a condition, strengthening the narrative of the projects. The multi-layered approach is particularly interesting in that it creates a more dynamic design and interaction between human and non-human stakeholders, but also provides layers of defence against a catastrophic storm event. This is an important and interesting defence feature as if one layer were to fail in the even of a storm, another layer would be there to support it, rather than relying on each layer of the design for a singular role in the overall design. This project provides some great insight for this graduate project. Although a different disaster is discussed, similarly principles and goals for the design can be taken and applied to wildfire. With few similar or design-based projects currently existing in wildfire management, this projects outlines a general framework that can be applied and tested on a different site and disaster. The multi-layered approach, definition of resiliency and its application to different human and non-human stakeholders are of particular interest and provide a reference for success or failure of the future proposed design. “The Living Breakwaters project reduces risk, revives ecologies, and connects educators to the shoreline, inspiring a new generation of harbour stewards and a more resilient region over time.”  (SCAPE & Landscape Architecture PLLC., n.d.)Figure 3.1: Living Breakwaters collage (SCAPE & Landscape Architecture PLLC., n.d.).Photo Removed31Figure 3.2: Example of a risk reducing intervention  (SCAPE & Landscape Architecture PLLC., n.d.)Figure 3.3: Example of one of the typologies presented. The project proposed to increase recreation and educational facilities on site, similar to the goals of this GP project. The design itself selves as a classroom for understanding the risk of flooding while also actively protecting the shoreline from a devastating flood (SCAPE & Landscape Architecture PLLC., n.d.)Figure 3.4: Example of one of the typologies presented. The project proposes interventions to support both human and non-human stakeholders in a manner that allows them to interact in a beneficial manner with minimal conflict. (SCAPE & Landscape Architecture PLLC., n.d.)Figure 3.5: ‘Water Hub’ programming. Water Hubs are placed throughout the site as a way of bringing together all the site elements in one place and foster a sense of community and education (SCAPE & Landscape Architecture PLLC., n.d.)Photo RemovedPhoto RemovedPhoto RemovedPhoto Removed33Precedent Study: New Practices Project Name: The Digital & The Wild: Mitigating Wildfire Risk Through Landscape AdaptionLocation: Cleland Conservation Park, South AustraliaDesigned by: Jordan DukesDates: 2016The project The Digital & The Wild: Mitigating Wildfire Risk Through Landscape Adaption was completed in 2016 by Jordan Dukes. It was completed at the University of Toronto as a final graduate project and advised by Liat Margolis. The project explores the role of landscape architecture and technology in the future of managing wildfires in the short and long term. Situated in Cleveland Conservation Park in Southern Australia on the outskirts of Adelaide, the project responds to the growing concern of wildfire in the Australian landscape. The project proposes the use of modern sensor technology to sense the landscape and allow for proactive rather than reactive management. It also uses these sensors as a way of making unseen process visible to humans, fostering an awareness for the condition of the landscape (Dukes, 2016).Three landscape interventions are implemented on site with the help of digital monitoring devices. The first device, weather modifiers, collect temperature data. When temperatures surpass a certain temperature they release a mist into the landscape to help increase humidity and lessen a fire sparking in the dry climate. The sensor also detects wind direction and speed, and on windy days releases Mediterranean Cypress tree seeds (a fire resistant species), allowing the trees to grow and further help to mitigate the rate at which a fire could spread in the surrounding landscape. The second device, erosion accelerants allows water to be collected in exposed pools during heavy periods of rain and serve as wildlife refuge. In the case of wildfire, the sensors would react by releasing the water stored in these pools into the surrounding vegetation at a high velocity eroding them away. The clay particles in the water would discourage vegetation from regrowing and help to form a natural firebreak. The third and final device, artificial watering holes, are filled artificially, attracting an influx of animals to the area in warmer months. As a result, more of the nearby vegetation is eaten up reducing the amount of fuel available to a fire. The pool similarly serves as a damp refuge for animals in the event of a fire. In addition to the physical benefits of these interventions, they also allow nuanced changes in the landscape that cause and intensity wildfires to be seen by humans (Dukes, 2016).This project brings forth a lot of new and interesting ways of thinking about fire management. Knowing that one of the largest challenges to proactive wildfire management are financial and physical resources, these interventions situate sensor technology as a really interesting and possible future for minimizing the recurring cost of manual management. In addition to the resources available, the interventions for the most part utilize the site and surrounding materials to respond to the threat of fire itself. Similarly, they provide other benefits such as refuge. The background work for the project very thoroughly identifies ways in which fires start and the locational, anthropogenic and environmental factors that further contribute. Laying out these reasons graphically (figure 3.10) is important, giving context and added validity to the project. I really appreciate the educational component of the design, using the sensors as a way to make the invisible visible to humans, allowing us to better understand the consequences of our actions on the landscape. I imagine this to be one of the strongest parts of the projects and could definitely see it working in practice and fostering individual ownership for the landscape. In doing so, I think it would help to create more urgency for management practices to be pushed and implemented regardless of their short-term investment. Also, I think it would have strengthened the project to simulate the activity of these different sensors in order to really understand whether or not they would be successful. Currently I’m left unconvinced, although I find the ideas very strong and provocative and I think successfully challenge the role of landscape architects and their box of tools to bring new perspectives and ideas to wildfire management. Figure 3.6: Overview of the three landscape interventions and their response to fire (Dukes, 2016)Photo Removed35Figure 3.7: Landscape intervention 1, Weather modifiers (Dukes, 2016)Figure 3.8: Landscape intervention 2, Erosion accelerants (Dukes, 2016)Figure 3.9: Landscape intervention 3, artificial watering hole (Dukes, 2016)Overall, this project brings forward some really interesting perspectives on how to manipulate the landscape in a way that fosters social, cultural and ecological benefits using non-traditional fire management. This projects further encourages a need for landscape architecture projects that design for fire and those living in its surrounds, noting a clear reason for my project to be pursued. The awareness of fire that this project brings is applicable to my graduate project as I try to figure out how to layer the intervention with recreational, educational and habitat values. In doing so, I believe there is real opportunity to evoke change in fire management practices. Figure 3.10: Locational, anthropogenic, environmental wildfire vari-ables (Dukes, 2016)Photo RemovedPhoto RemovedPhoto RemovedPhoto Removed37Methodology Material Study // SimulationA material study will be conducted to better understand the effects of fire on materials that will be used in the final design. A future material simulation will also test the affects of the fire on different iterations of the design to help inform the final iteration of the design. This will also help to inform future management in the study area and help to inform possible future design interventions on other sites. Creation of tactile and physical studies will help to better understand the severity of the effects of fire and the necessity for the project and its relevance in the current condition of the site.  Physical ModellingPhysical models will be developed over the course of the design project in order to test and simulate the effects of fire on different components of the design. They will further help to understand the spatial qualities of the site, how individuals could recreate and move through the site, where richer ecological zones could be places, where educational hubs could located, etc. The models will help to point to areas of strength and weakness in the design, both from a user experience perspective and from a fire perspective as a fire simulation is run on sections of the design. Mapping Mapping will be used to gain a better understanding of the site itself and how fire would move through the site. This will be a major component in the site analysis phase of the project. Some maps are currently available as a reference in the City of Nelson Community Wildfire Protection Plan, 2015. Maps will include information regarding: land-uses, topography, slope aspect, vegetation, view sheds, drainage, water, soils, local assets and the urban to urban wildland interface gradient. Maps currently available and useful to the future design include: Biogeoclimatic zones, critical infrastructures, fire history and intensity, fuel types (and information about their risk under wildfire behaviour), fire threat ranking, current and past fire management project areas, proposed treatment zones and emergency evacuation routes.These maps will be critical in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the site and surrounding area to better understand the potential implications to the site and how it would burn in the event of a wildfire. Further mapping will be conducted during the design phase to situate the design within the regional context and help to understand the impact of the design on the surrounding communities. Collage // DrawingCollage and drawing will be used to set the scene and give mood and a sense of experience to the project. They will help to give character to the design and understand how it will be used by different stakeholders. Collage will mostly be used to give a sense of the site from a human and non-human stakeholder perspective, while drawing will be used at a broader range of scales, from an individuals perspective to experience of the site as a whole. AnimationAnimation will be used in conjunction with the materials simulation, to test the effects of fire on an unmanaged site to a fully managed site, understanding the impact of fire during the in-between phases, on different iterations of the design and different areas of the site. Animation rather than a static drawing will be important in understanding the time-based elements of the projects and also how the time between fire events will be changing over the coming years. Understanding the element of time will be important in order to understand the design’s ability to be resilient to the constantly changing conditions. SITE  Selection    CriteriaIn selecting a site, it is important to me that the site not be located within a major urban centre and rather within a small yet still urbanized place with a constant or growing economy and population. The site must similarly be located near a largely forested area with part of the urban area existing within the Wildland Urban Interface. The nearby forest must have a history with fire and high probability of fire in the coming decade, but does not have to have been affected by fire in recent time. This criteria will allow the design project to be situated within the current day. It will also allow us to see how the design will respond to fire and if successful, similar principles and process could be applied to other sites. part  IIFighting Fire with Firetowards a new park typology4Site //analysisSITE  The City of Nelson is located at the base of the Selkirk Mountains in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. In 2018 Bruce Blackwell and Associates, a forestry consultant company in North Vancouver identified the City of Nelson as the most at-risk municipality in British Columbia with a pollution over 10,000 people (Metcalfe, 2016). Risk was determined using property and services at risk and the general burn area within the WUI. Additionally, the Town of Nelson seems to be actively participating in the reduction of fuel in their surrounding forest (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017). Choosing a place that is currently at risk allows the project to be situated in the present and work within the existing efforts and awareness of the town to reduce their risk to wildfire.This project sites a landscape intervention that responds to the risk of fire in the City of Nelson. The site of intervention becomes part of a fire break that would circle the town -- Further on-site investigation would need to be done to locate the rest of the fire break in the City of Nelson. Figure 4.1: City of Nelson in the BC ContextPhoto RemovedCity of NelsonThe City of Nelson sits recessed into the mountainside. A proposed fire break for the town would further need to consider site features, but in general is proposed to have an edge that follows along the “Great Northern Rail Trail” as it acts as an existing edge to a future break. Similarly, it would follow up and around the proposed site, utilizing existing logging roads and when needed mountain biking trails. To be effective, the break will tie into the river that flows on one edge of the town and acts as a fire break along that edge. In sitting a fire break, it is important to find these areas of opportunity to support the success and design of the break. In the City of Nelson we can see that the landscape is quite dramatic, exacerbating the effects of fire in the landscape. Here we see the proposed site of intervention highlighted in the dashed white box.The site was selected because of its direct proximity to the city, location at the cusp of the WUI and due to its largely established infrastructural network which has created a site of opportunity. 1000 250  500mcity  of  nelsonFigure 4.2: City of NelsonVulnerabilitiesThe WUI adjacent to the park is likely one of the most at-risk areas and susceptible to allowing the fire to enter and spread. Critical infrastructures to protect include: water systems, communication lines, transmission lines, transportation routes, hospitals and fire halls. It is important to prioritize areas of protection. The Union of BC Municipalities offers funding through the Forest Enhancement Society, but competition is high between different communities. If fire is able to ignite one asset, chances are it will spread quickly to its surroundings (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017).HistoryThe City of Nelson is located at the junction of highway 3A and highway 6 in the Selkirk Mountains, West Kootenay region of British Columbia within the traditional territories of the Sinixt (Lakes First Nation) and Ktunaxa (Kutenai First Nation) peoples (Rogers, 2019). The town boomed due to the discovery of gold and silver deposits in the 1860s. In order to move these resources in and out of the town, two railways were built and lead to the town growing and developing into bustling town within the West Kootenays, keeping much of this urban form and architectural character in the town today (Lamb, n.d.). Surrounded by forest, logging became a major industry and helped to further grown the town. Later, draft evaders from the United States moved to Nelson and surrounding Kootenay’s bringing with them a population of largely educated young people, bringing a strong presence of culture and politics to the area (Lamb, n.d.). When industries began to close down, including the sawmill in the 1980’s as well as the David Thompson University, Nelson’s economic future experienced a recession, similar to many industrial towns in more remote areas of BC (Rogers, 2019). However, the social, cultural, political strengths and surrounding forest and lake tourism potential of the city carried the town into its current day success. It has since become a hub for creatives and outdoor enthusiasts alike. For this reason, the City of Nelson has continued to grow and become a strong cultural centre in BC and thrive even after the fall of its historic industry, successfully making the transition from industrial to a thriving active and artistic mountain town (Rogers, 2019). The Town of Nelson’s population has grown 3.3% between 2011 and 2016, remaining relatively similar, around 10,500 year-round residents (Harper, 2017). Figure 4.3-6: City of Nelson, (City of Nelson Archives).Photo RemovedPhotos Removed49Today, the City of Nelson thrives as a quintessential mountain town with a little bit of something for everyone — a place for creatives and outdoor adventurers alike.Activity Inventory+ Annual Art Walk+ July, August, September Art Exhibits+ Outdoor Markets — Farmers and Artisans (Cottonwood Community Market, Downtown Locals Market, Marketfest)+ 2 Local Hiking Trails — Nelson-Salmo Great Northern Trail is a very gently sloped rail trail running through Nelson for those on foot and bicycle; The Pupil Rock Trail, up to the radio tower giving the iconic mountain view of the city, a more challenging terrain that requires experience, restored access since spring 2009)+ Whitewater Ski Resort+ Over 20 cat-skiing, heli-skiing and ski-touring operators+ Mountain bike trails for all experience levels + Rock Climbing — Kootenay Crag, Hall Siding, Grohman Narrows, CIC bluffs+ Kokanee Glacier Provincial ParkFacility Inventory- Nelson Community Complex- Mountain Lake Seniors Community Partnership- Hospitals: Kootenay Lake Hospital, Kootenay Boundary Hospital- School District 8 Kootenay Lake (Nelson Christian Community School, NCCS, Saint Josephs’s Catholic School)- Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (École des Sentiers-alpins)- Selkirk College- Kootenay Columbia College of Integrated Health SciencesGeography and ClimateLocated 600m about sea level, Nelson is located at the boundary of the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone within the Coastal Rain Forest System (Rogers, 2019). A strong diversity of tree species can be found in the area surrounding the city including: Birch, Aspen, Cottonwood, Cedar, Hemlock, Lodgepole Pine, Larch, Douglas Fir. Old growth cedars can also be found in small patches (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017). This area is habitat for a number of non-human species including: mountain caribou, grizzly bear, black bear, deer, moose, cougars, skunk, porcupine, amount others (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017). The Kootenay river follows the Kootenay Valley before joining the Columbia River. A number of fish including: freshwater salmon, rainbow trout, bull trout, Gerard trout, sturgeon and burbit live in these rivers (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017). Damning of these rivers has had implication on these habitats and has changed the physical terrain of the areas. Programs are currently in place to help protect this habitat and the species that depend on it for habitat (B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd., 2017). Figure 4.7: City of NelsonPhoto Removed51Fire  basicsPrior to designing a management strategy for the site, it is important to understand the basics of fire and management terminology. Similarly, it is important to understand the implications of different landscape features and management practices to understand why certain decisions might be made.The proposed management seeks to prevent stand replacing crown and ground fires, and welcome surface fires in a controled capacity.Vegetation health and density, as well as slope and aspect play key roles in the movement of fire. Vegetation health is an important factor in how quickly, efficiently and hot fuel will burn. Dry and dead vegetation will burn more quickly and easily than healthy vegetation. This is currently a big problem as with recent fire management regimes in many areas of BC, fire suppression has allowed large amounts of this debris vegetation to accumulate on the forest floor. Whereas fire suppression leads to the build up of these fuels, fire management would manage their availability. Density of vegetation is also a major factor in how easily fire has access to a fuel source. Fire will spread more quickly in dense vegetation than in sparse vegetation. Similarly, slope and aspect play important roles in the movement of fire. South facing slopes receive more heat and therefore burn more readily as a heat source has already been applied, and when considering slope, fire moves twice as fast uphill for every 10% increase in slope because of preheating, and for similar reasons, halves in speed when moving downhill. With the City of Nelson and the site of intervention being located on the side of a mountain, the risk of a fire getting out of control without proper management is significant.Figure 4.8: Fire triangleFigure 4.9: Fire causesFigure 4.10-13: Fire typesFigure 4.14: Vegetation healthFigure 4.15: Vegetation densityFigure 4.16: Slope and aspect53Various management practices exist including: removal of understory vegetation, raised canopy, thinning and prescribed burning. These tools as well as fire breaks will be used in varying capacities as management tools throughout the site. In considering where to apply these practices, site condition will be factored in to consider the various human and non-human stakeholders that use the site. The site as a whole will act as a large shaded fuel break. A standard fuel break removes all vegetation to create a ‘wall’ to break or seriously slow an oncoming fire, whereas a shaded fuel break is spatially much larger, but has less impact on the visual quality of a landscape, retains moisture in the soil which is a good defence against a stand replacing fire, retains root systems which is particularly important in sloped areas such as Nelson and overall provides more opportunity for spatial experiences if basic spatial requirements are available. Figure 4.17: ThinningFigure 4.18: Removal of understory vegetationFigure 4.19: Raised canopyFigure 4.20: Fuel breakFigure 4.21: Shaded fuel breakFigure 4.22: Prescribed burningSurrounding the City of Nelson, within the selected site, there are three vegetation fuel types available and a variety of tree species. The three fuel types are relative to the age of the forest and their current condition, for example, the amount of accumulated fuel on the forest floor in that general area. The site itself is located in the Interior Cedar-Hemlock zone. Fuel types allow for a better understanding of how a forest will burn and how much debris may currently be present on the site. This is an important consideration prior to prescribing a burn or carrying out other management practices as well as understanding where a naturally occuring fire may want to burn.C5 - mature and old forestC5 - mature and old forestC3 - young forestM1/2 - pole samplingfuel   typesC3C51/2M1000 250  500m57In considering where to apply prescribed burning and at what interval, it is important to understand the general succession of a forest in the specific landscape to better understand the visual quality of burning at different time intervals. The diagram to the right gives an understanding of what regrowth would look like in this landscape. This was determined using information on fire and succession in a similar landscape of the US where information  on the effects of fire in the landscape has been collected for a number of years. The forest’s regeneration will surely be unique to this region, but this information provides a basis on which to begin understanding and designing a management strategy that considers social, cultural and ecological value of the landscape. Within this landscape there are a variety of tree species mostly comprised of conifers with some deciduous vegetation. Some species are better adapted to fire than others, including the Douglas fir and western larch, a consideration that should be taken into account when implementing a thinning strategy on-site.grasses invade woody openingsgrasses and woody shrubslodgepole pine come inspruce and fir grow in understoryhemlock and red cedar come inhemlock and red cedar form thick canopyPinus contortalodgepole pineAbies lasiocarpasubalpine firPinus ponderosaponderosa pinePseudotsuga menziesiiDouglas fir(mature)Tsuga heterophyllawestern hemlockPopulus trichocarpablack cottonwoodPopulus tremuloidestrembling aspenBetula papyriferapaper birchPseudotsuga menziesiiDouglas fir(young)Larix occidentaliswestern larch(mature)Thuja plicatawestern red cedarLarix occidentaliswestern larch(young)SLOPE1000 250  500m<10%10.1 - 15%15.1 - 20 %20.1 - 25 %25.1 - 30 %35.1 - 40 %40.1 - 45%45.1 - 50 %>50.1%30.1 - 35 %SLOPE<10%10.1 - 20%20.1 - 30 %30.1 - 40%40.1 - 50 %>50.1%1000 250  500m611000 250  500mCurrent Site Condition5MAnagement//design67The project seeks to design a management strategy that prioritizes effective fire management, in this case using a shaded fire break while taking into account the site’s ability to provide social, cultural and ecological value. Within the management strategy, a recreation network is developed within the existing system, encouraging users to experience varied management practices and showcase the varied experiential and spatial qualities that are made possible by these management practices. Along this network, technology will be utilized to collect and share data on and off-site. A community forestry project will be implemented to allow for financial gain from the thinning maintenance of the site, cycling back to support other costly management practices such prescribed burning. In doing so, there is the opportunity to support the local economy through job creation. The site design will work within existing site characteristics and materials whenever possible in order to maintain the vibrant sense of character currently present in the community.Goals+ Reduce the risk of forest fire to the City of Nelson+ Improve the social, cultural, recreational and ecological value of the site+ Educate stakeholders on the importance of proactive fire management and the risks of living in a fire-prone community while bringing awareness to the important role of fire in the landscape+ Engage stakeholders to take ownership in the process of wildfire management in their community+ Improve the availability of information available on the effects of fire in various Canadian landscapes+ Create a general set of guidelines/steps/criteria that can be followed to apply a similar process to other at-risk communities in BCobjectives+ Design a management plan for the site that prioritizes an effective fire break while taking into account the ability of the site to similarly benefit social, cultural and ecological values+ Create recreation networks within the existing system that encourages users to experience varied management practices and showcase the varied experiential and spatial qualities made possible by these management practices+ Utilize technology to collect and share data with both experts and stakeholders both on and off the site+ Implement a system that allows for financial gain to be reinvested into the cycles, and create a self-sustaining management system while creating local jobs that connect community to site+ Utilize existing site characteristics whenever possible — this includes existing trails, materials, local knowledge, etc.691000 250  500m1000 250  500m  THINNING20m10m0m6mclearmanagement  plan  no thinning - 0mlight thinning - 6mmoderate thinning - 10mheavy thinning - 20mFour thinning typologies are implemented throughout this site to protect various vulnerable areas, contribute to a dense and varying mosaic and for general defence against fire. The more spaced the trees, the more difficult it is for fire to spread within this landscape. The height of the canopy will be raised throughout the site regardless of thinning pattern to reduce the risk of a dangerous canopy fire.The thinning management plan considers the previous elements, as well the implications of thinning densities closer to the interior or exterior of the site. Interior areas  can allow for a some thicker stands as they are less likely to be affected by a fire source beginning outside of the site. In these areas, denser areas of shade would be available and likely appreciated by some recreational users. Similarly, it allows for a variety of species to benefit from the habitats created and for a range of data to be collected in different conditions. 7150 years30 years10 years5 years2 years1 year1000 250  500mprescribed   burnmanagement  planThe prescribed burn plan considers burn frequency and proximity to on-site managed forest, and off-site un-managed forest. Here, the burn sites utilize the existing trail system as fire breaks. This would require consistent trail maintenance benefiting recreational users and site management. Varied burn sequences will further contribute to the landscape mosaic, creating more landscape patchiness and variety of spatial experiences for different user groups, species habitat, and variation in data to be collected. This changing patchiness will likely lead to constant change in how the site is used spatially, depending on when a site is burned and the different stakeholders that benefit from the new patch. How users interact with the site will likely change in order to  minimize conflict, for example, between a climber and a deer. The natural burn cycle in the area is between 30-50 years.73The prescribed condition results in a dense and diverse site with over 450 patches as part of the landscape mosa-ic. While the management mosaic represents the initial site mosaic, the mosaic itself will be constantly chang-ing, naturally, and with the input of various stakeholds that may see benefit in the site in creating a particularly new experience to benefit species, recreational users or the scientific community. This site will be in constant flux and mediation between stakeholders, while main-taining the primary function of a fire management tool. To the left we see the initial condition of the site after implementing the thinning strategy, prior to any burn-ing. All proposed management strategies will need to consult current site users and those who have a deep knowledge of the physical site to ensure the protection of any specific areas of interest and protection. 6site//design79Pre-burn condition Forest thinnedImmediate post burn condition Intermediate post burn conditionRecreationHere we experience a moment along the boulder circuit. The forest here has been treated, clearing the understory and thinning the canopy. The trail has been cleared of debris and improved using lumber forested from the site and reinvested into the maintenance and experience of the site. Boulders throughout the site observed during a site visit are utilized to improve climbing access for the town of Nelson and encouraged to be cleaned and climbed. This will surely bring an influx of users to the site. Throughout the site, data sensors are placed to collect data on current environmental factors. When prescribed burns are in effect, recreational users including climbers are temporally unable to use the site. These images were collated in a GIF to emphasize the contant change and cycling of the site as fire makes its way through the site. Fire can be beautiful, bringing more colour and life to a site. It allows vegetation to diversify, allowing plants that were previously shaded out to now thrive. Similarly the constant change of vegetation allows benefits to different specie habitats, allowing some species that have been pushed out to make their way back to the site and continue to bring life to it.Burn conditionPost burn forest regrowth condition -- cycles back to pre-burn conditiontreated forest treated forestboulder existing site feature integrated into new recreation circuit understory and canopy height maintained regularly, funded  through forestry operation, burned at various intervals in accordance with managementplans understory and canopy height maintained regularly, funded through forestry operation, burned at various intervals in accordance with managementplanspathway acts as a fire break between prescribed burn patches and as a recreational trail; regularly maintained to minimize any debris and fire hazard;       min width1-5831000 500Climbing  circuitWithin this recreational space, different circuits are implemented to take user groups through varying parts of the management mosaic to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the management on-site. Here we have a proposed climbing circuit. The final circuit will take local knowledge of interesting climbing boulders into consideration to make it attractive to the climbing community. A precedent exist for this in Fontainebleau, France, a popular bouldering destinations where various circuits were developed starting in the 1930’s taking climbers on interesting loops of the forest based on boulder difficulty. These circuits have boasted the local climbing communities ownership and contributions to the conservation of this forest area.As we can see from the diverse mosaic encountered on the climbing circuit, different species will benefit from this mosaic as well. For example, the mountain caribou will benefit from areas of the site with older vegetation and downed trees. Here they benefit from abundant lichen and habitat within the downed trees. Deer and grizzly bears prefer a younger forest in earlier seral stages where berries and sapling are more readily available as they have not been shaded out by an older more mature forests. With very few of these areas currently available on-site, grizzly populations in the area are in severe decline. More variation in site forest age will give them new opportunity for food sources. Both the grizzly bear and mountain caribou have been identified as endangered and species of interest in this area.85Pre-burn condition Forest thinnedImmediate post burn condition Intermediate post burn conditionThis moment shows a site of opportunity present on the upper end of the site. An observation deck has been placed to provide a spot to observe the forest from above and provide a different perspective than when in the forest itself. Data collecting sensors will be placed at this site. The deck is constructed using lumber from the thinning process and locals are given the opportunity to design features including benches and unique decks. This contributes to supporting the existing local artist and fabricator population. The lookout provides a point of interest to give recreational users a more thorough understanding of the site, from inside the management to observing it from above, there is the hope that a more comprehensive understanding fire and management will be gained and contribute to the evolving perception of fire in the landscape . A great view of the town will also be present. Burn conditionPost burn forest regrowth condition -- cycles back to pre-burn conditiontreated forest treated forestviewpoint structure constructed on-site with materials (woods and stone) taken from site; constructed in conversation with local user groups to reflect site/community character understory and canopy height maintained regularly, funded  through forestry operation, burned at various intervals inaccordance with management plans understory and canopy height maintained regularly, funded  through forestry operation, burned at various intervals inaccordance with management plans89Pre-burn condition Forest thinnedImmediate post burn condition Intermediate post burn conditionHere, hikers walk along a path, the edge of a fire break. The pathways is extensively thinned and understory vegetation removed. Sensors are placed throughout this area. Users of the space are taken along this trail with the understanding that they are walking within a fire break and hopefully gain a better understanding of fire in doing so. The information collected by the sensors will provide them with the opportunity to get real-time data on their smartphones. Any necessary trail maintenance along this section or others will use existing site materials, primarily consisting of lumber and stone. As the vegetation grows we begin to see the opportunity for different species to benefit at different times. Burn conditionPost burn forest regrowth condition -- cycles back to pre-burn conditiontreated forest treated forestpathway acts as a fire break between prescribed burn patches and as a recreational trail; regularly maintained to minimize any debris andfire hazard;       m in width1-5 understory and canopy height maintained regularly,funded  through forestry operation understory and canopy height maintained regularly, funded  through forestryoperation93receiverfuel temperature andhumidity sensorair temperature andhumidity sensorfire monitoring andweather systemReal  time  data  collection  and  projectionReal time data is collected and projected on and off-site using a variety of sensors and systems. These sensors will allow for a constant collection of information on-site contributing the availability of burning information in Canada. Currently this information is not readily or easily accessible. Basic information on temperature and moisture of soil and air, precipitation, wind, etc. will be collected and accessible to both experts and recreational users. This information could be shared with recreational users on existing information websites such as Trailforks, which is well maintained and used by various outdoor recreation communities. For experts and recreational users alike, the availability of this information will provide a better, more thorough understanding of the effects of fire on the landscape, understanding the relationship between fire, management and experience, and allow for constant monitoring of the changing landscape, allowing future changes and planning to be implemented with more accurate information.9597community  engagementAs eluded to in some of the past interventions, the thinning of the forest will be conducted as a community forestry operation allowing for the demonstration park to fund itself. Similarly some investment could also be gained from the scientific community and recreation funding. In this diagram we can see how profits will be returned into the management of the site as well as further improve local ownership of the management of the site while also contributing to the local economy through job creation.99concluding  remarksIn conclusion, this project considers the need for at-risk communities to take more ownership in protecting themselves from fire proactively, rather than reactively. In doing so there are great opportunities to improve the social, cultural, recreational and habitat value in the space that would be taken. The process applied to Nelson can be taken and applied elsewhere in similarly situated towns. Finding areas of opportunity in the landscape exists in varying capacities and by including landscape architects and designers, the spatial condition and requirements for various stakeholder groups has the ability to be better considered and render a space that is layered in function and serves more than one use. In consultation will local communities, these sites can serve as places for improved recreation, economic and education opportunities. These spaces could serve as a new park typology.7References103WORKS    CITEDAgee, J. K., et all. (2000). The use of fuel breaks in landscape fire management. Forest Ecology and Management. Forest Ecology and Management, 127, 55–66.Auburn University. (n.d.) Topography’s effect on Fire Behaviour. Retrieved from Blackwell & Associates Ltd. (2018).B.A. Blackwell & Associates Ltd. (2015). City of Nelson Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Berkes, F., and C. Folke. 1998. Linking social and ecological systems: management practices and social mechanisms for building resilience. Cambridge University Press, New York. Conservation Ecology 4(2): 5.Bowman, J., Balch, P., Artaxo, W. J., Bond, M. A., Cochrane, C. M., D’Antonio, R., DeFries, F. H., Johnston, J. E., Keeley, M. A., Krawchuk, C. A., Kul, M., Mack, M. A., Moritz, S., Pyne, C. I., Roos, A. C., Scott, N. S., Sodhi, and T. W., Swetnam. (2011). The human dimension of fire regimes on Earth. Journal of Biogeography 38:2223-2236.Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. (2005). Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy: A vision for an innovative and integrated approach to managing the risks.Country Fire Authority. (2019). How fire behaves. Retrieved from, J. (2016). The digital & the wild: Mitigating wildfire risk through landscape adaptions. Retrieved from (2008). Defensible space. Home builder’s guide to construction in wildfire zones. Retrieved from FireSmart Canada. (2019). Empowering the public & increasing community resilience. Retrieved from Ontario. (n.d.). Fire Starters: Understanding High Park’s Prescribed Burn. Retrieved from, L., Whitlock, C., Humphrey, G. (2019). Resilience and fire management in the Anthropocene. Ecology and Society 24(3):14.Government of British Columbia. (2015). Climate Change. Retrieved from of British Columbia. (2019). Impacts of Climate Change. Retrieved from of British Columbia. (2019). Wildfire Causes. Retrieved from, T., R. (1999). Effects of Thinning and similar stand treatments on fire behaviour in western forests. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Retrieved from https:// &httpsredir=1&article=1048&context=barkbeetles Harper, T. (2017). Census: Nelson’s population up 3.3%. Nelson Star. Retrieved from, J. (2017). Fort McMurray ‘resilient, but tired’ as mental effects of wildfire linger. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from Park Nature. (2019). Prescribed burns. Retrieved from, S. (n.d.). A Brief History of Nelson. City of Nelson British Columbia. Retrieved from G., Pomerantz, C., Donev, J. (2019). Forest Fire. Energy Education, University of Calgary. Retrieved from, B. (2018). Wildfire: Nelson most endangered of BC towns over 10,000, expert says. Retrieved from Park Service. (2000). Chapter 4: Changes in the landscape, Yellowstone in the afterglow. National Park Service. (2019). 1988 Fires. Retrieved from Park Service. (2019). Interactive Wildfire History Timeline. Retrieved from Park Service. (2017). Yellowstone National Park, 1988: A 25th Anniversary Retrospective. Retrieved from Resource Canada. (2019). Fire Behaviour. Retrieved from Resource Canada. (2016). Social aspects of wildfire management. Retrieved from, M.P., Stephens, S.L., Collins, B.M., Agee, J.K., Aplet, G., Franklin J.F., Fulé, P.Z. (2015) Reform forest fire management. Environmental Science. Science, 349(6254), 80-81. 105O’Connor, C. D., G. M. Garfin, D. A., Falk, and T. W., Swetnam. (2011). Human pyrogeography: a new synergy of fire, climate and people is reshaping ecosystems across the globe. Geography Compass 5:329-350.Partners in Protection. (2003). Fire Smart: Protecting your community from wildfire. Retrieved from Community.pdf Reichard, S. (2015). Old Yellowstone: History of Yellowstone Fire Management. Retrieved from, P. (2019). History. Nelson’s Community Website. Retrieved from, P. (2019). History. Nelson’s Community Website. Retrieved from & Landscape Architecture PLLC. (n.d.). Living Breakwaters. Retrieved from, C, A., & Moseley, C. (2019). Collaborations and capacities to transform fire management. Science, 366(6461), 38-40.Smith, E., Rebori, M. (2001). Factors affecting property owner decisions about defensible space. p. 404-408. Retrieved from Publications%20of%20Interest/15%20reasons%20why%20no%20def%20space.pdf  Stewart,S., et al. 2007. Defining the Wildland Urban Interface. Journal of Forestry, 201-207.Tier, A. (2019). Visualizing Climate Change. USDA Forest Service. (2005). The story of Smokey Bear. Retrieved from Forest Service. (2001). Chapter 1: Background Scope, Review and update of the 1995 federal wildland fire management policy. Westhaver, A. (2017). Why some homes survived: Learning from the Fort McMurray wildland/urban interface fire disaster. Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. Retrieved from


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