In February 2019, on a day when there was snow on the ground and the temperature was -3 C, Salmon Arm firefighters responded to a suspicious hedge blaze at a residence. The incident prompted the fire department to ask residents to look at making their properties FireSmart. (Salmon Arm Fire Department photo)

In February 2019, on a day when there was snow on the ground and the temperature was -3 C, Salmon Arm firefighters responded to a suspicious hedge blaze at a residence. The incident prompted the fire department to ask residents to look at making their properties FireSmart. (Salmon Arm Fire Department photo)

Free program helps Shuswap homeowners FireSmart their properties

Columbia Shuswap Regional District staff will assess homes, offer tips to protect from wildfires

While cooler, wet weather has diminished the risk of wildfires, it is still a good time to for homeowners to have their properties assessed for fire risk.

On Feb. 3, 2019, with snow on the ground and the temperature at -3 C, Salmon Arm firefighters responded to a hedge fire next to a residence.

Despite the distance between the hedge and the home, heat from the blaze still caused external damage, warping siding that faced the fire. In a subsequent Facebook post, the fire department asked, “…do you think a hedge fire would produce enough heat to damage a home 25-feet away in the middle of winter? What if this was August 3rd?”

The blaze prompted the fire department to ask homeowners to start thinking about making their properties FireSmart, referring to the provincial program focused on reducing residential wildfire risks.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District continues to offer free FireSmart property assessments for Shuswap home owners. They are designed to help the homeowner understand how to be more FireSmart, including how to reduce the risk of wildfire on the property and around the home.

The assessment is for the use of the homeowner only, to educate and offer suggestions that could end up saving your home in the event of a wildfire.

Residents can also qualify for a rebate of up to $500 for their efforts in putting the FireSmart principles into practice.

For more information, and to sign up for a free assessment, visit csrd.bc.ca/firesmart or call 1-888-248-2773.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Columbia Shuswap Regional District