Many people in the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) live in the wildland/urban interface – the areas where forest and grassland are interspersed with homes and buildings. The risk of loss of life and property from wildfire in those areas can be very high, especially with the threat of wildfire in BC increasing each year.
The PRRD is rolling out a regional FireSmart program that will help identify high-risk properties and neighbourhoods and help the people in them understand and reduce the risk of damage or loss from wildfire.
“The Peace region is particularly vulnerable to wildfires, which often happen earlier and last longer here,” says PRRD Board Chair Brad Sperling. “Taking a proactive approach is shown to reduce the risk of losses in the most extreme wildfire conditions.”
FireSmart is a national and provincial inter-agency program that helps residents who live in high-risk areas prepare their properties and their neighbourhoods to meet the threat posed by wildfire.
FireSmart BC offers free and confidential property assessments with local wildfire experts who will provide homeowners in the Peace region with practical advice and simple steps to drastically reduce fire risk to their property. Small changes like cleaning roofs and gutters, trimming branches overhanging above the roof, moving firewood away from a property, and keeping grass short go a long way to making sure a home is still standing if a wildfire comes near the property.
Home assessments are conducted by Mammoth Forestry Ltd., a forest and wildfire service company based in Fort St. John with a mission to cultivate respect for northern resources.
FireSmart also includes a Neighbourhood Recognition Program that helps neighbourhoods work together to reduce vulnerability to wildfire, and be recognized for their efforts to protect their communities.