Through the month of June the Peace River Regional District hosted three consecutive Wildfire Preparedness Days at Beatton Provincial Park, One Island Lake Provincial Park, and Moberly Lake Provincial Park. They had a great turnout from the BCWS, local fire departments, and BC Parks. They wanted to make their events more interactive and family-friendly with educational mini-games and challenges, and they were happy that they could include FireSmartBC’s promotional materials in their activities.
With the help of Mammoth Forestry, the PRRD is working to get their first neighbourhood recognized through the FireSmart Canada Neighborhood Recognition Program – One Island Lake Cottage Association. At the end of last summer, the community hosted a work-bee event to clean up their neighbourhood, and it was the perfect way to bring people together in the common pursuit of a safe and resilient community.
In 2021 they completed more than 100 FireSmart Assessments, distributed 1000 FireSmart manuals, 750 FireSmart gardening guides and 592 direct mailers to high-risk areas, and hosted 10 public events. The assessments were the heart of their program, and according to Craig Wilson of Mammoth Forestry, they “left many satisfied homeowners with a handy checklist, some promotional swag and a feeling of empowerment to take the resilience of their properties into their own hands.”
Their Public Education Campaign generated content for the PRRD FireSmart webpage and social media, as well as radio advertising scripts, posters, and media releases. They maintained this community engagement throughout the summer with a continuous stream of social media content and live online interviews.
They created a personal community presence with information booths at community events like the Dawson Creek Rodeo and Exhibition and the North Peace Fall Fair, as well as various farmers markets throughout the region. At many of these events they were accompanied by Ember the FireSmart Fox, who was a big hit with kids and adults alike.
Craig’s advice to others hosting FireSmart events is to target high-traffic areas. This summer, they are setting up in the provincial parks which have a lot of traffic on summer weekends. Getting lots of support from other local partners at events is a great way to spread the message too.
Their Wildfire Preparedness Days and One Island Lake Neighbourhood Recognition events were funded through the CRI program.
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