On the heels of the historic heat wave, and with a long, hot summer in the forecast, the RDEK is urging all rural property owners to take steps now to FireSmart their properties and help reduce the risk of damage caused by wildfire.
“While we cannot change the fact that we live in a wildfire-prone region, we can increase our property’s resilience to wildfire by adopting FireSmart principles and taking steps to reduce hazards,” says RDEK Wildfire Resilience Coordinator Terry Balan. From simple actions like cleaning gutters and moving firewood or propane tanks, to choosing fire-resistant vegetation and pruning trees, there are numerous simple actions people can take to help reduce the risks on their property.
To help support residents in accessing available resources, the RDEK has launched a new project page for the East Kootenay Fire Smart program at engage.rdek.bc.ca/firesmart. This page has local information and links to the wealth of resources from FireSmart BC and FireSmart Canada.
In addition, the RDEK is looking for residents who are interested in becoming Neighbourhood Champions and acting as a leaders to coordinate and lead a collective effort to undertake wider FireSmart activities in their neighbourhood.
“We have some incredible examples of neighbourhoods in the East Kootenay who have made huge strides in making their community safer, and the Neighbourhood Champions have been a critical piece of this success,” adds Balan. “Through our program, we also have additional resources available for Neighbourhood FireSmart programs including everything from wildfire hazard assessments to financial assistance for community chipping events.”
To help raise awareness and encourage neighbourhoods to get involved, the RDEK’s FireSmart Program will be hosting FireSmart Neighbourhood Champion Workshops this month across the region:
• Cranbrook July 20th 08:30am – 12:00pm Heritage Inn – 803 Cranbrook St N
• Jaffray July 26th – 08:00am – 12:00pm Jaffray Community Centre – 7369 Jaffray Village Loop Road
These sessions are open to everyone in the RDEK and there is no cost to attend. To register, or for more information, please contact Terry Balan at FireSmart@rdek.bc.ca.