Planning for the worst as wildfire season gears up

City wants public to be aware of wildfire risks, prepare homes and properties for the worst.

While the city of Cranbrook is working on reducing wildfire risk within municipal boundaries, homeowners also should take some responsibility in reducing potential hazards.

City staff is advising residents to understand the risks and be prepared in case a wildfire sparks up either inside or outside city limits. Homes that do not address potential hazards pose a risk not only to one particular structure, but to the neighbourhood and responding emergency services.

Fire and Emergency Services is pushing the concept of a fire-adapted community, which holds that proper community-wide preparation combined with adequate landscape-scale hazard mitigation, human populations and infrastructure can withstand a wildfire.

A fire-adapted community relies on partnerships between agencies, the public, and all levels of government, with each accepting responsibilities for their part.

When considering the concept of a fire adapted community, the public should be aware of:

• what to expect from emergency responders in the first 24 hours of a fire.

• understand how to create and maintain a fuel free area.

• proper landscaping and plant selection.

• placement of heat sources near the home (wood piles, sheds).

• thinning trees and ladder fuels around the home.

• understanding ember danger

• having a personal and family preparedness plan.

Homeowners should also brush up on some preparedness concepts that include:

Defensible space — a space between a building and the wild land area that surrounds it to create a buffer. Zone 1 extends 30 feet from the building, Zone 2 extends 30-100 feet.

Embers — Windblown embers can be a huge danger during wildfire events, as most structures aren’t destroyed by direct flames, but are rather ignited through embers. Embers can precede a wildfire front and be blown over long distances, Embers that land on roofs can go undetected for some times, and in some cases, ignite a structure and threaten a neighbourhood.

Hardening your Home — A conceptual plan that protects a home through the actual building materials of the roofs, eaves, vents, decks, windows and other aspects.

Home Ignition Zone — another concept plan that puts a home in the context of the surrounding landscape features. In a high hazard area, the zone can be up to 200 feet, focusing on mitigating wildfire risks within that area. For more information on fireproofing your home and property, visit www.firesmartcanada.ca.

While the city and homeowners can do their part to reduce wildfire risk within the city boundaries, it is the responsibility of the province to mitigate those risks outside city limits in areas such as the community forest.

According to a city report, Cranbrook is rated in the highest community wildfire risk category in the province.

In order to reduce that risk, a five-kilometre treatment areas would need to be established, encompassing 50,000 hectares. At $7,000-$9,000 a hectare, that isn’t financially feasible, as the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) currently doles out $5 million per year for the entire province.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Most Read