The time to prepare for fire season is now

Hopefully we’ll all come through another wildfire season with our homes intact.

If you lived here in the fall of 2003 you will know how important it is to prepare your property for the coming of hot summer weather and the inevitable possibility of wildfires.

Here is some very good advice on what residents can do 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.

If you are going away on vacation during wildfire season make sure you have left instructions and contact numbers with whoever you have keeping an eye on your property.

 

Take the time to make some plans, act on them, be vigilant, and hopefully we’ll all come through another wildfire season with our homes intact.