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· Fire Forests
· First Nations Basketry from the Dry Forests
· Revealing the Cariboo-Chilcotin
This is a link to a map of the forests of British Columbia with optional close-ups of Northeastern British Columbia, Cariboo-Chilcotin and Central Coast.

FOCUS  Cariboo-Chilcotin -- Dry Forest

Fire Forests
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This is a photograph of a fire in a dry forest.
Fire in the Dry Forest. Richard Cannings.
Forest fires are common and help create a complex and dynamic forest.
Lodgepole Pine is well equipped to take advantage of a fire, because many of its cones are sealed with resin, remaining tightly closed until they are opened by intense heat. Some cones, though, open as soon as they mature, so the species can colonize open areas where fire has not occurred.
The intense heat of fires can kill trees but helps open the cones of some pines, resulting in new tree growth. Robert Cannings.
This is a photograph of a dry forest after a fire.
Young Douglas-firs are susceptible to the grass fires frequent in this habitat but older trees develop bark up to 15 centimetres thick, which shields them from the flames.
Old Douglas-firs have thick bark that protects them from fires. Richard Cannings.
This is a photograph of the trunk of a Douglas-fir tree, showing the thick bark.
Fires clear the open forest of any small trees and shrubs that might be competing with the large trees for the precious water supply. Larger trees usually escape such fires with some blackened bark. This regular cycle of fires creates a parklike landscape of large Douglas-firs with grass, flowers and scattered shrubs below.
The blooms of Saskatoon shrubs in April and May are a common sight in the Dry Forests of the British Columbia interior. Robert Cannings.
This is a photograph of a Saskatoon Berry shrub, with white flowers in bloom.
Soopolallie or Soapberry is a common undergrowth shrub in the Dry Forest. Its berries were used extensively by First Nations. Robert Cannings.
This is a photograph of Soapberry or Soopolalie shrub with red berries.
Fires still occur regularly but are more rare than they were a century ago. Overgrazing by cattle has reduced the amount of dry grass fuel; this, along with modern fire suppression policies, has limited the extent of fires. Large, dense stands of young firs and pines with little grass and shrub undergrowth are now common. These trees grow more slowly than those in open stands and the pines are much more susceptible to beetle infestations. Some of these stands are now being thinned, increasing the vigour of the trees and making the woodland more attractive to wildlife of all kinds.
Fire Forests -