The City of Prince George and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George are teaming up to reduce the risk from wildfire in our region. Working with FireSmart BC, the partners want to educate homeowners and raise awareness of wildfire risks and share information about prevention and mitigation.
“When it comes to being FireSmart, education is everything. From landscaping best practices to fire-resilient building materials, learning what you can do today to protect against wildfires can save homes and lives tomorrow,” says Anita de Dreu, Emergency Services Coordinator with the Regional District.
Throughout the summer, a public education campaign will run to highlight easy things everyone can do around their property to reduce the risk of damage or loss from wildfire.
The best place to start is the non-combustible zone; the first 1.5 metres immediately surrounding the home, attached garage, decks or patios. Regular maintenance and cleaning the corners and crevices of the home and yard (where needles and debris build up) and removal of all fuel sources will leave nothing for embers to ignite.
Other simple tips include:
- Regular removal of debris from gutters.
- Move firewood and propane tanks 10-30 m away from house.
- Keep grass healthy and cut to less than 10cm – fires can ignite and travel quickly through long grass.
- Bark mulch is highly flammable. Remove bark mulch from around the home. Don’t lead fire to the door.
- Talk with an insurance provider about wildfire damage and loss insurance. Ensure insurance is adequate and up to date!
- Remember to remove any windblown leaves from under decks, as well as any flammable debris on balconies.
As part of the joint effort to reduce risk of wildfire in the community, the City of Prince George is undertaking some work to remove a portion of the trees and brush in a number of forested areas around town that are near residential neighbourhoods.
“We want to do some preventative work and remove some of the materials that could help fuel wildfire near residential areas,” says Claire Watkins from the City of Prince George. “We know that wildfires can happen fast and with little warning so we want to make sure that we do what we can now before there is a real threat”.