Consider them your local wildfire mitigation experts.
A Local FireSmart Representative (LFR) has an understanding of current wildland urban interface concepts and wildfire hazard assessments, with tools and skills to recruit and motivate volunteer community leaders. Importantly, LFRs have the mentoring abilities to work with self-organized groups of citizens as they plan and implement wildfire mitigations in their own neighbourhoods.
Why contact your LFR?
The following LFR(s) can be found in :
LFR of the month
1. Where do you live and what geographical area do you cover? I reside in the City of Penticton and cover this area as well!
2. How long have you been an LFR? I completed my LFR training in May of 2021.
3. What made you decide that you wanted to be an LFR and support homeowners and neighbourhoods on how to become FireSmart? I had started my new position as the FireSmart Team Lead for the City of Penticton’s FireSmart Program. The LFR training became available, and this was a great opportunity to start hunkering down on FireSmart basics. Now that I have this knowledge, I want to continue to share this knowledge with residents in the City of Penticton. Penticton is located in a wildfire-prone area, and I want all homeowners to know what they can do to become more resilient to wildfire.
4. What would you say are your 2 biggest challenges as a LFR? 1. Creating a change in behaviour once FireSmart assessments have been completed. Many residents know their hazards after receiving a FireSmart Home Assessment, but struggle to make the change. 2. Supporting an older demographic through the Neighbourhood Recognition Program which must be applied on through the portal now!
5. What are some of your successes with the FireSmart program More and more people are recognizing FireSmart and the FireSmart team, and more people are having a better understanding of the FireSmart principles. Especially kids. They have been like sponges to the FireSmart educational material. It has also been great to see communities/neighbourhoods come together for the first time because of FireSmart. Through the FCNRP neighbours are meeting neighbours for the first time, it is awesome to see that sense of community made possible through this program.
6. What has been your favourite project/event you have done with your local FireSmart Program? My favourite event this far was a FireSmart information session specific to landscaping. This information session was for a Gardening group that met monthly and they were curious as to what FireSmart landscaping really was. After this event, they all went back to their neighbourhoods and shared what they had learned. Seeing how all of this information has different avenues to disseminate into the community has been neat!
7. What advice would you give to other LFR’s? Take the opportunity to learn everything and anything that relates to FireSmart! There is so much information out there, and homeowners always seem to think of the most bizarre questions. So, the more information you can have in your toolkit may benefit you somewhere down the road. Having more knowledge on FireSmart also allows for LFRs to have a better overall view of the FireSmart program.
8. What is your favourite of aspect of the FireSmart BC website The FireSmart BC Landscaping Hub! This is a great resource for people looking to complete some FireSmart landscaping. I like how it breaks down the plants into trees, shrubs, groundcover, etc. I am also excited to see the development of the FireSmart Community Forum. This will be an excellent resource for LFRs and FireSmart Coordinators.
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LFRs at a glance
LFRs are people from all walks of life, unified by a central purpose: to mitigate the damages caused by wildfires to our neighbourhoods and communities. They're community leaders, fire professionals, and other individuals that are all helping foster FireSmart at a grassroots level.