Ken and Theresa Laturnus were busy reducing the fuel load on their South Green Lake property. Every time they come up from the Lower Mainland, they remove the fuel load to reduce the risk of a wildfire spreading on their property to their neighbours’ properties. (Ken Alexander photo).

Ken and Theresa Laturnus were busy reducing the fuel load on their South Green Lake property. Every time they come up from the Lower Mainland, they remove the fuel load to reduce the risk of a wildfire spreading on their property to their neighbours’ properties. (Ken Alexander photo).

Good time now to FireSmart properties

Ken and Theresa Laturnus were busy Sunday FireSmarting their South Green Lake property.

While Ken knocked the dead branches off the fir trees on their property, Theresa picked them up so they could be taken to the 70 Mile Eco-Depot where they will be chipped.

“It’s a safe way to remove the dead branches. I’m not climbing anything and I use a two-by-two to knock the branches off the trees,” Ken said.

They also raked up the cones and dry needles under and around the trees to ensure there wasn’t any ground fuel that could contribute to the spread of a wildfire.

Ken, who works for BC Hydro as a forester, said he knows the importance of reducing the fuel load on the forest floor and removing the dead branches on the trees so fire can’t leap up the trunk, reach the crown and spread to other trees on the property.

“We do this every time we come up to make sure there isn’t any ground fuel to feed a wildfire,” said Ken, who lives in the Lower Mainland.

Ken encourages all property owners to reduce the fuel load on their properties, noting it would help everybody in the community. It’s free to take the branches and other fuel to the 70 Mile Eco-Depot.

“We don’t want [fuel] sitting around. We saw how [a wildfire] can get away from you like it did in Lytton this summer.”

Now is a good time to FireSmart the vegetation on our properties and remove flammables from around our homes. For more FireSmart information, check out FireSmartBC.ca

If you, or you and your neighbours, are FireSmarting your properties and want to let people know what you are doing, contact me top_drawer@shaw.ca or 250-456-7496.

READ MORE: Sprinklers can save homes, cottages from wildfire

Home fire safety success

South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department (SGLVFD) volunteers recently had a successful pickup event.

The local FireSmart crew handed out several home fire safety bags provided by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, which contained a lot of home fire safety information, including updates about the new FireSmart Neighbourhoods Recognition Program project, and the combined smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

The recipients gratefully accepted their safety bags, listened intently to the details of what was in them, and had their questions answered.

During the two-hour event, SGLVFD trainer Del Westfall handed out 90 sprinklers that had been pre-ordered at a cost of $60 apiece and answered questions about where they should be placed to be most effective.

Westfall had spearheaded the sprinkler program and had several firefighters help him put the sprinklers together.

There are a few leftover ground and roof-top sprinklers available for purchase on a “first-come-first-serve” basis. The cost is $60 per sprinkler and can be paid for by cash or with a cheque made out to the SGLVFD Auxiliary.

To order and pick up a sprinkler, contact me at top_drawer@shaw.ca or 250-456-7496.


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