Begin fireproofing your property before the scorching heat of summer arrives

Barriere area residents advised to take action to protect their property from wildfire

While freshet flooding is the current focus in some parts of the province, increasing temperatures are making wildfires an emerging threat in other regions.

British Columbians are reminded to begin planning now for the summer wildfire season.

People who live in or near a forest are reminded that they can help reduce the risk of forest fires that may threaten their homes by taking simple steps to clear their yards and homes of combustible materials and vegetation.

Suggestions and tips can be found in the FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual available from local fire departments or online at:

www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/firecom/pdf/homeowner-firesmart.pdf

Before the wildfire season begins, homeowners should check insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage against fire damage to belongings, property and buildings – whether the fire starts within the structure or from the surrounding forest.

As fire insurance is reasonably and readily available in B.C., provincial disaster financial assistance does not apply to fire damage.

Residents should make an inventory or video of all belongings. Keep it in a fireproof container with other important documents as proof for insurers in the event of an insurance claim resulting from a fire.

Safety measures for homes and properties during the wildfire season:

* Start with a general yard cleanup. Remove needles, branches and underbrush that could fuel a fire.

* Get rid of brush, long grass and anything growing under large trees that could cause a fire to spread into those and neighbouring trees.

* Prune low-level branches up to at least 2.5 metres above the ground and keep your grass mowed.

* Move your woodpile and other flammable materials away from your house or other buildings. Flammable materials should be at least 10 metres away and uphill from your home.

* Replace bark mulch with gravel or decorative rocks.

* If your home or business is on a slope, pay particular attention to the downhill side of your property. Fire can race uphill and burn trees, brush, grass or other flammable materials.