The BC Wildfire Service was at the 108 Mile Community Hall for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 5 to present on how to FireSmart private properties.
“We’re trying to make people more aware of the need to FireSmart their properties and so this opportunity came through Fire Smart Canada to hold an event,” said Al Richmond of the Cariboo Reginal District. “A lot of people rather than sitting down doing a presentation, they have been sitting down doing one-on-one discussions about what they can do and how they can do it.”
Also on hand, were representatives of the 108 Greenbelt Commission, Emergency Support Services and the 108 Volunteer Fire Department. The firefighters were selling burgers, hot dogs and a drink for donations.
Brochures were also there, giving information on fire-resistant plants that don’t pose much of a fire hazard risk and can be utilized on properties.
According to Richmond, the fire department sold over 50 burgers and figures that at the end of the day 75 people showed up in total.
“I hoped for more but realistically it’s turned out to be a very nice day and there’s a lot of events going on. I’m very pleased with the turnout. I think that participation has been great and people have been able to come and talk to the community and talk to the firefighters and talk to us and emergency social services and ask them questions, it’s been a good day,” he said.
One of the most common recurring questions asked during the session was what to do with the vacant properties or with people who have done nothing with their properties.
Richmond said they have collected addresses and will drop off some letters to encourage them to do something about their property and make it more fire resistant.
“Some people who aren’t there might not be aware of the threat their property poses to their neighbours and we will try to make them more aware of that,” he added.
The plan is to mail them a notice along with a Fire Smart brochure.
Another common question had to do with stopping the selling of fireworks during certain windows of the year, which Richmond has said people have been encouraged by it but it requires the agreement of the provincial government before the CRD can implement it.
As far as this upcoming summer, Richmond has said people are on a heightened awareness and with more people educated about what they need to watch for and what they shouldn’t be but the district is still at the mercy of mother nature.
“I wouldn’t make any predictions except I encourage people to be diligent and if they see something be vigilant and call in and forestry will look at the issue at hand,” he said.
The fire department is having another open house and spring fling on May 27.