Wildfire season is here

Tips to protect your property

  • Jul. 7, 2018 6:00 a.m.

File photos of wildfires in Alberta.

The annual fire watch in Canada’s forested lands is upon us. Fort McMurray is still rebuilding two years after its devastating wildfires. In the meantime, Friday July 7 marks the one-year anniversary of the B.C. wildfires – that day a two-hectare wildfire began west of 100 Mile House B.C. kicking off BC’s record-breaking season. This year, there are 170 fires burning across B.C., 10 times more than the same time last year. Meanwhile, south of the border, wildfires are ripping through California, Colorado, New Mexico and other Western states and emptying out entire neighbourhoods.

Canada has a history of wildfires going back centuries including the Great Fire of 1852 which destroyed half of Montreal’s housing and left 10,000 people homeless, and the Great Miramichi Fire that devastated forests and communities throughout New Brunswick in 1825 (ranking it among the three largest forest fires ever recorded in North America).

More recently, FirstOnSite Restoration has been on the frontlines of some of the country’s largest forest fires, including last years B.C. wildfires and the 2011 Slave Lake, Alberta wildfire, in which one-third of the town was destroyed. It was also one of the earliest responders on scene after the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires, the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history and the costliest disaster in Canadian history.

Fires are a natural part of the forest ecosystems in Canada. The burning recycles nutrients and improves the habitat for animals. It is also good for trees in the long run. It clears the forest floor of debris allowing existing trees to grow stronger and healthier. However, fires can also be devastating to those located near a wildfire-prone zone. Perennially, they pose a significant risk to communities and business located close to forests. Based on lessons learned over the past decade, here are FirstOnSite Restoration’s 10 ways that residents and business owners can protect their property from a wildfire:

Create a 10-metre defensible space around your property

Make your roof fire-resistant and clear away gutter debris

Keep embers out

Remove close by coniferous trees

Prune your trees

Keep your lawn mowed

Create a “bug-out” bag and an action/evacuation plan. Click here for full description

Find a “fire-resistant zone” near your home

Work with your neighbours

Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage

Source: FirstOnSite Restoration, https://www.firstonsite.ca/

Just Posted

Two fires of note burning in Southeast Fire Centre

As of Saturday afternoon there were more than 20 fires burning in the Southeast Fire Centre.

Greyhound to end bus service in B.C., Alberta

Company axing passenger bus and freight services in Prairies, and cutting all but one route in B.C.

First Nation pipeline protesters erect ‘tiny homes’ in B.C. Park

Kanahus Manuel and Tiny House Warriors say more homes being constructed in park

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

National award for Selkirk alumnus

One of 10 winners from across Canada

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

ZONE 1: Hannah Tracey looks to mom as role model while at BC Games

‘She has believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself,’ Tracey said at BC Summer Games in Cowichan

Most Read