With wildfire season coming, a B.C. fire department is reminding residents of the potential threats during hot summer months and to educate themselves on the susceptibility of homes and property to fire.
“Preparation is the key to mitigating the risk of damage by wildfire,” said Cpt. Mike Richards, of the Penticton Fire Department.
By following a few simple steps set out by the national initiative, Fire Smart, the risks of a wildfire can be avoided or reduced. Fire Smart Canada is a national initiative that helps property owners living in/and or close to forested areas to be aware of the wildfire threat and offers ways to take action to make their homes and community become “Fire Smart.”
Fire Smart Rules of Thumb:
Zone 1: Home/Yard, this is the area up to 10 metres from your house.
This should be a fire-resistant zone, free of all materials that could easily ignite from wildfire. You should check for ignition points in and around your home and yard and remove debris that are easily ignited by sparks and embers. Any changes within 10 metres of your home, including the removal of combustible surface material, will have the biggest impact.
Firewood piles should be at least 10 metres from your home.
Zone 2: the outer yard, extends from 10 to 30 metres from your house.
Before the summer hits, you can thin and prune coniferous trees to reduce hazards in this area. Prune tree branches within two metres of the ground. Regularly clean up accumulations of fallen branches, dry grass and needles from the ground to eliminate possible surface fuels.
Zone 3: is a large yard or neighbourhood, from 30-100 metres away from your home.
Look for opportunities to make a fire break by creating space between trees and other potentially flammable vegetation. Thinning and pruning are effective. Spacing trees three metres apart, from branch tip to branch tip, helps to reduce the intensity and rate of spread of a wildfire.
Lastly, the fire department suggests to draw on community spirit by forming a co-operative network with your neighbours around you.
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