The recent wildfire that devastated Fort McMurray hits home for many of us. With friends and family affected by the fire it’s hard not to think about a similar situation happening here in the Sea to Sky. If a wildfire were to break out in your neighbourhood, would you know what to do?
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) aims to help educate and protect people as well as their properties from wildfire. Here is what you can do safeguard your property and belongings in the event of a fire in Whistler.
Schedule a FireSmart Home Assessment
FireSmart home assessments are an opportunity for homeowners to learn about wildfire risk and receive a list of recommendations based on their home situation that will help them protect their property in the event of a fire. Whistler Fire Rescue Services (WFRS) has completed over 2000 home assessments in Whistler and continues to provide this service free-of-charge for homeowners to ensure residents are educated and informed on best practices when it comes to fire.
You can book a FireSmart Home Assessment by contacting Whistler Fire Rescue Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-935-8260.
Dispose of Yard Waste
Yard waste around the home is a fire hazard and should be disposed of safely. RMOW is having free yard-waste drop offs on selected weekends throughout the summer in an area adjacent to Nesters. The next free drop off for Whistler homeowners is July 29 – August 1.
Tips to Fire-Safe Your Home
The British Columbia Public Safety and Emergency team have created a Homeowners FireSmart Manual to reduce, replace or remove wildfire risks from around the home. Here are some key tips from the manual about getting wildfire ready, and preventing damage from wildfire to your home and property.
Fire spreads faster uphill, homes located on a hill or on top of a hill should take extra precautions towards fires such as removing trees adjacent to the slope or plant fire-resistant plants.
Remove combustible surface materials from around your home as well as clearing and removing yard waste from around your home will remove potential fuel for the fire.
Prune lower branches on trees, this removes fuel for the fire.
If you are able to, increase the spacing in between trees surrounding your property, tree spacing of at least 3 meters will help reduce the intensity of wildfire.
If you are able, remove all trees within 10 meters of your home.
Start from your home and work outwards, changes made to the area directly around your home will have the biggest impact for fire prevention.
Read the Homeowners FireSmart Manual, it is packed full of information on preventing fire around your home and is an engaging and practical document.
It’s already a hot start to the summer and every year wildfires threaten parts of British Columbia. Whistler is not immune from fire danger and it’s crucial that all residents play a part in protecting their home and community against wildfire.
If you haven’t yet, ensure to book your FireSmart Home Assessment with WFRS and keep your family, home and belongings safe this summer! Again, the contact information for Whistler Fire Rescue Services is email@example.com or 604-935-8260.