The time to prepare for wildfires is now

Friday, February 28, 2020

It's still winter and wildfire season seems like a long way off. But did you know that wildfire is the biggest natural disaster risk in our region? 

And the worst time to prepare your home and property from the threat of wildfires is when there is a fire bearing down on your area.

Now is actually the best time to start reducing your risk of property loss and damage due to wildfires.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) is working to help residents, neighbourhoods and communities reduce their risk and make our region safer. The CSRD was the recipient of grant funds from the Union of BC Municipalities and the Columbia Basin Trust to educate and support residents on the FireSmart principles. FireSmart is a recognized program designed to empower the public and increase community resilience to wildfire across Canada.

“Winter is a great time to learn about the FireSmart program, assess your home’s level of risk and decide what projects you could accomplish to reduce your risk,” says Len Youden, the CSRD’s FireSmart Coordinator.

“Ultimately, the protection of private property from the threat of wildfire rests with individual property owners. No one has a bigger vested interest in protecting your home from wildfire than you do. As citizens and homeowners, we need to take action to protect our own homes and properties and the CSRD can help,” adds Youden.

Residents of the CSRD can request a free FireSmart home evaluation by one of our trained fire professionals. They can help you understand where your property is vulnerable to wildfire and what steps you can take to reduce your risk.

A request form is available on the CSRD’s webpage, https://www.csrd.bc.ca/firesmart. There is even a rebate available up to $500 through the grant funding if you complete some of the recommended clean-up work.

The website also has relevant and important information residents can use to educate themselves, self-assess their risks and make changes all on their own.

In addition, neighbourhoods, community associations or other groups can invite one of our FireSmart representatives to do a one-hour presentation on FireSmart, including a chance to have your questions answered.

Call 250-833-5910 for more information or to book a session.