A FIRE BURNS The Richter Mountain wildfire, at 60 hectares, burned near Cawston last year, coming close to some of the homes in the area. (Photo submitted)

Presentation in Summerland will focus on fire safety measures

Organizers say precautions can reduce risk of damage during wildfire season

A presentation to be held in Summerland in early March will examine wildfire preparedness measures.

The session will be held March 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Centre Stage Theatre. It is a free event, organized by the municipality of Summerland, the Summerland Fire Department and Frontline Operations Group.

It will include presentations on wildfire history and its role in ecosystems, the era of megafires, fire behaviour and management, prescribed burning and FireSmart principles for private property.

READ ALSO: Slow start to B.C. wildfire season saves the province money

READ ALSO: Quick BC Wildfire response results in Okanagan lightning strike fires doused

Brandy Maslowski, fire and life safety educator with Frontline Operations Group, said fire safety measures can protect homes during wildfire seasons.

“If you have the right roof and have FireSmart yard preparations at least 10 metres from your home, you have a 90 per cent chance of your home surviving a wildfire,” she said.

Fire prevention measures do not mean clearcutting and removing all vegetation, she added.

The FireSmart guidelines, from the B.C. Wildfire Service, call for a Priority Zone 1 fire-resistant area, 10 metres from houses. This zone should be free of all materials that can easily ignite from a wildfire.

In the Priority Zone 2 area, 10 to 30 metres from homes, trees should be thinned and surface fuels and debris should be cleaned up.

In the Priority Zone 3 area, 30 to 100 metres from homes, trees should be thinned to reduce a wildfire’s intensity and slow its speed.

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