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Media Release - Homeowners can safeguard against wildfires

 
MEDIA RELEASE
 
May 28, 2018
 
Homeowners can safeguard against wildfires
 
A wildfire in a 12-hectare region near Campbell River this past week is a reminder that even at this time of year, caution is required in forested areas on the coast.
 
Ryan Thoms, Regional Emergency Program Coordinator, said that due to dry Spring conditions in this area of British Columbia, there is a high risk of fire, and prevention, as always, is an important consideration. The fire in Campbell River appears to be human-caused, having started in slash.
 
“Given the early dry weather, people should be checking on the burning regulations wherever they live or play and make sure they’re in compliance with any fire use,” said Thoms. The following is a link to the regional emergency program’s web page, where there are more links to the various burning regulations in effect throughout the region: http://www.powellriverrd.bc.ca/community-services-2/emergency-preparedness/
 
In addition to minimizing human-caused wildfires through following burning regulations and using common sense in forested areas, there are steps homeowners can take to reduce the potential impacts of wildfire at their homes. Thoms said the region has a FireSmart program that can help people protect their residences from fires.
 
“This program offers public information and education, so residents can be proactive about fire prevention and make FireSmart changes to their homes and properties that will improve the likelihood that their home is safe from wildfires,” said Thoms. FireSmart Coordinator Marc Albert is looking to help the public take effective steps to protect residences from fire, rather than just being fearful of fire once the sun comes out, he added.
 
“Even if we can prevent some fires, wildfires will always happen naturally, but they don’t necessarily have to be tragic disasters like we’ve seen in Fort McMurray, or what happened in BC this past summer,” said Thoms. “There are some simple FireSmart measures, such as the landscaping decisions we make, the building materials we use and the basic maintenance we do to our properties that can make a difference.”
 
Thoms said for anyone concerned about wildfires, it’s Albert’s job to grab the public’s attention and assist anyone worried about wildfire. “He can give practical, proactive things to do as opposed to people living in fear.”
 
Having nice, green lawns rather than overgrown yellow grass, plus clean gutters, metal siding or hardy plank and fire-resistant roofing material can all make a difference in the instance of wildfires, or if there is a housefire in an adjacent property. Preventative measures will make a home more defendable against fires.
 
“It’s so unfortunate in terms of people losing homes when you see how preventable things can be,” Thoms said.
 
Albert would be glad to speak with the public about any aspect of the program. He’ll also be organizing some public FireSmart education sessions around the region over the summer months, so people can contact him to find out when and where, or access literature such as the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual, which can help determine if a home is at risk. Albert can be reached at 604-414-7839 or firesmartpr@gmail.com
 
 
For more information, contact:
Ryan Thoms, Regional Emergency Program Coordinator
(604) 485-2260
 

 

Event date: 
Monday, May 28, 2018 - 1:15pm

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