May 31, 2022 – As another wildfire season approaches, the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) has partnered with local wildfire experts to deliver the message: Get FireSmart! Protect your home, protect your community.
The Peace region is one of the most diverse and abundant ecosystems on earth. Yet, the area is particularly vulnerable to wildfires, with the wildfire season often happening earlier and lasting longer. To reduce the risk of loss of life and property, the PRRD has partnered with Mammoth Forestry Ltd. – a local consulting firm with expertise in wildfire management – to launch the FireSmart BC campaign.
Since 2021, the campaign has had significant results in reducing the impact of wildfire on the residents of the regional district. 122 FireSmart Assessments were completed, 101 homes in rural areas were assessed, and the One Island Lake Cottage Association became the Peace Region’s first recognized FireSmart neighborhood!
To build on the success of 2021, the PRRD is launching the 2022 FireSmart BC campaign and delivering the message: Get FireSmart! Protect your home, protect your community. The program aims to raise and maintain awareness of the FireSmart BC program, complete another 100 Home Assessments for rural homeowners, and support three more neighborhoods in gaining national FireSmart recognition. The program’s local wildfire experts will work closely with local fire departments and Regional District staff to build capacity for wildfire prevention. Ultimately, the campaign aims to prevent the loss of life and property and protect Peace Region residents from the increasing risk of wildfire.
“The FireSmart program is a valuable tool that helps homeowners and neighborhoods become more resilient against the ever-present threat of wildfire” – said Dawson Creek Mayor and Peace River Regional District Director, Dale Bumstead. “In 2021, the One Island Cottage Association came together to FireSmart their neighborhood and was proud to have been recognized as the first FireSmart Neighborhood in the Peace Region. I found the experience to be both fun and educational, and I hope to see more homeowners and communities in the region get involved with FireSmart!” Adding to that, Regional District Chair Brad Sperling mentioned: “The small changes that every household makes can significantly reduce the impact of wildfire on our communities. FireSmart’s proactive approach is so easy, practical, and accessible that every family member can participate and have fun together while protecting their homes. I look forward to seeing more homes and neighborhoods involved in the FireSmart program year-round”.
For FireSmart 2022, the PRRD will be advertising digitally, through social media, print, and a radio series. We will also be organizing three PRRD Wildfire Preparedness Days in June with the participation of local fire departments and BC wildfire crews, as well as attending other local events to reach out to the community. We gladly invite all Peace Region community groups and associations to attend our PRRD Wildfire Preparedness Days on June 11, June 18, and June 25 so that we can build community and learn about FireSmart together. Spread the word, protect your community!
To learn more about the program or to book a free and confidential assessment, visit: prrd.bc.ca/firesmart/
SEAN CAIRNS, MPA | Protective Services Manager