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Peachland to host a Wildfire FireSmart Community Workshop

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April 16, 2016 - 1:46 PM

PEACHLAND – Thinking of building that dream home out in the serene wilderness or are you concerned about your home during a wildfire?

Peachland Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with the District of Peachland, FireSmart Canada, and FNESS is hosting a FireSmart Community Workshop:
What: - A workshop that will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and tools to protect their communities from Wildland-Urban Interface fires.
When: April 19, 2016 / 3 pm – 8 pm

Give yourself a good 1.5 hours to see everything. There will be two alternating presentations, one by Fire Smart Canada and the other by a Fuels Management Specialist. These highly educational presentations will alternate 30 minutes apart starting 15 minutes after opening and run through the evening. There will also be appetizers, displays, firefighters and other industry professionals on hand to answer any questions.

Where: Peachland Community Centre, 4450 6 St.

Have you ever seen those terrible aerial photos of neighborhoods swept by wildfires? Have you ever wondered why some homes burn and some don’t? Or how about a lone tree that stands after the wildfire sweeps through. Why? It isn’t just the luck of the draw.

Studies in the U.S., Australia and Canada have led to the conclusion that certain conditions (a non-flammable roof and 10 meter clearance from fuels) will result in a 85 to 95 per cent chance the home will survive a wildfire. FireSmart principals are based on that science. Those are pretty good odds for undertaking work that is relatively simple, inexpensive and manageable for most homeowners.

The new term is “fire adapted neighborhoods” which encompasses the concept that if we choose to live in interface areas with the peace and beauty of nature, we need to be part of it, not separate from it.

Many of the FireSmart methods used to modify vegetation mimic the way the forest would be if we allowed wildfire to burn — if we want to exclude wildfires near homes, we need to take on the work the wildfire would do. Many of the techniques applies to homes prevent an ember storm from taking hold.

At this workshop you will learn how to manage difference fuels around the Wildfire Urban Interface Home such as:
- Ladder Fuels
- Surface Fuels
- Duff Layers
- Defensible Space

Trends show that wildfire risk and the size of many wildfires are growing. Due to increasing wildland fire activity over the past decade, Peachland Fire and Rescue Service wants to educate residents and communities about what they can do to prepare before a wildfire strikes their area. Wildfires DO NOT have to burn everything in their paths. 

A “FireSmart Community” – is a group of residents working together to ensure that they are safe against disaster. FireSmart Canada educates residents about fire hazards, such as what combustible vegetation they should avoid planting near their homes.

“Peachland Fire Rescue Services realizes that reducing wildfire losses is not just about one house in a neighborhood,” said Dennis Craig, Fire Chief with the District of Peachland.

“When a whole neighborhood or community takes action, everyone can benefit by reducing the threat of a wildfire. FireSmart Canada is aimed at community-wide behavior change over time that helps protect lives and property when community members follow the steps outlined in the program.” 

“It’s important that individual homeowners take action to reduce the risks of wildfires. However, this is a team effort, and an entire community can benefit when it gets behind fire prevention efforts.”

How Everyone Can Prepare for Wildfire:
• Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
• Remove fuel within 3-5 feet of your home’s foundation and out buildings including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
• Remove dead vegetation surrounding your home, within the 30-100 foot area.
• Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have large trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet high.
• When planting, choose slow-growing, carefully placed shrubs and trees so the area can be more easily maintained.
• Landscape with native and less-flammable plants.

To find more information about the FireSmart Community Workshop on April 19th, 2016, please contact the Peachland Fire Department at 250-767-2841 or visit www.peachland.ca. To learn more about FireSmart Canada visit their Web site at www.firesmartcanada.ca.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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