Wildfire Fuel Mapping Project

Summit of Fountain Mountain. Photo by Patrick Robinson

From the air and on the ground, PICS research supports wildfire risk reduction on Xaxli’p First Nation territory.

This multi-agency partnership between the Xáxli’p of the St’at’imc Nation, the University of Northern British Columbia, the Canadian Forest Service and the BC Wildfire Service seeks alignments between Indigenous and Western perspectives and knowledge on land to support cooperative and effective co-management towards more resilient landscapes.

The research team was invited by the Xáxli’p community near Lillooet, BC to support the central objective of landscape restoration in Xáxli’p territory to reduce wildfire risk.  Increasing forest fuel loading on Xáxli’p land, resulting in large part from institutional legacies of wildfire suppression, prohibition of traditional burning practices and industrial forestry, has dramatically increased the risk of catastrophic wildfire throughout Xáxli’p territory.

Current fuel conditions are being mapped in high detail using airborne laser scanning (commonly known as LiDAR).  To support community restoration planning for wildfire risk reduction, visualization tools are being developed to allow various mapping products related to wildfire fuels, landscape and access features as well as cultural features and sites to be easily visualized and combined throughout Xáxli’p territory. 

Opportunity Project: Began September 2019 / Project duration: Two years

Research Partners

Principal Investigators

Dr. Ché Elkin

Dr. Ché Elkin

Associate Professor, and FRBC/Slocan Mixedwood Ecology research chair in the Ecosystem Science and Management at UNBC


Solution Seekers

  • BC Wildfire Service
  • Canadian Forest Service
  • Xáxli’p First Nation