Don’t turn on roof sprinklers in wildfire fight: Vernon fire chief

If evacuating from a wildfire, do not turn on your sprinklers

RDKB Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor hopes to lead by example. She participated in the Christina Lake Fire Rescue sprinkler program and installed a WASP gutter-mounted sprinkler system on her own Christina Lake home. Homes that observe FireSmart principles and install sprinkler systems are more likely to withstand wildfire. Photo: Submitted

Since the wildfires were sparked, residents have been wondering what they can do to protect their homes.

But those thinking of putting sprinklers on roofs are advised not to turn them on.

“We know sprinkler systems can help save properties in the event of a wildfire, but we need to be very careful about how they are used,” said Vernon fire chief David Lind. “If you install a sprinkler system on your property, do not turn it on before evacuating during an emergency. Doing so could strain the water supply for your neighbourhood, potentially hindering firefighting efforts.”

Instead, residents should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sprinkler installation and leave a hose stretched down at ground level for structure protection crews to utilize.

These dedicated teams will source water from an appropriate supply to ensure the necessary resources are available for fire suppression.

“Once again, we thank all the emergency responders, volunteers and community members who have stepped up during these difficult times,” said Lind. “Together we are navigating this wildfire season with resiliency and unity.”

If a wildfire occurs nearby and you are put on evacuation order, residents are reminded to be ready to leave at a moments notice.

“If you receive an evacuation order, leave your house immediately,” Lind said. “This allows firefighting crews to concentrate their efforts on fire suppression without delay, ensuring the safety of our community.”

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B.C. Wildfires 2023bc wildfiresVernon