The Premier of Ontario has declared a province-wide state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order in response to rising COVID-19 variant infection rates.
Following the ice storm of December 22, 2013, the town’s forestry section responded to more than 10,300 storm-damaged town trees on the public road allowance and in public parks. Forestry received the equivalent of over one year’s worth of volume of work in one day. Forestry staff estimates there were double to triple this number of private trees also damaged.
Ice storm response is prioritized based on an industry risk rating system. Trees that have the potential to fall and cause injury to people or property are priority. The public road allowance and public parks are a priority over woodland trails. The town’s forestry crews have completed inspection and cleanup of the public road allowance, active parks and removal of high risk trees in all of the town’s 280 woodlands. Crews continue to work on medium and low risk trees as well as cleanup.
Once trails are cleared of hazards, crews will continue to work on cleanup and removal of downed branches and debris. The large amount of brush left in the trails is the result of the town’s priority to remove hazards first. Forestry crews are now concentrating on cleanup of debris during regular woodland maintenance and as dry weather permits trucks and equipment to enter the trails. Some debris is left on the forest floor to help foster natural regrowth and regeneration.