B.C. firefighters get some boots on the ground wildfire training at Campbell Mountain in Penticton in early April as part of the wildland and interface wildfire training. To reduce the risk of wildfires, FireSmart is urging homeowners to take some precautions. (Black Press fire photo)

B.C. firefighters get some boots on the ground wildfire training at Campbell Mountain in Penticton in early April as part of the wildland and interface wildfire training. To reduce the risk of wildfires, FireSmart is urging homeowners to take some precautions. (Black Press fire photo)

FireSmart urges wildfire precautions in Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

July events have been organized around the region

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen FireSmart team is urging homeowners to take precautions to prevent the spread of wildfires.

“What property owners need to be aware of is that during a wildfire, flying embers are the most common cause of igniting nearby homes and properties,” said FireSmart coordinator Kerry Riess. “By tidying your yard and removing flammable items and vegetation, you will reduce the source of fuel around your home. This decreases the risk of your home being ignited by these embers.”

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The FireSmart tips include:

• Move piles of firewood and rake leaves or dead material away from buildings.

• Clean gutters of pine needles and other debris.

• Prune tree branches away from your roofs.

• Mow the lawn and keep grasses trimmed.

A lawn mower or weed eater on a hot day has the potential to spark a fire. After using these types of power tools, it is advised to water it down after to prevent a fire from occurring.

When shopping for new trees, plants, shrubs or grasses for the garden, it is important to choose fire-resistant plants. Some trees such as pines and spruce, are more flammable than others and should not be planted close to homes. A FireSmart Landscaping Guide can be downloaded at firesmart.rdos.bc.ca/participants.

Also consider choosing plants that are tagged FireSmart safe. These are available at numerous garden retailers throughout the region, with further details at firesmartbc.ca/landscaping-hub/plant-program/

Several FireSmart events have been organized for the region.

Apex Wildfire Community Preparedness Day will be held Saturday, July 16 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event includes a pancake breakfast. Headwaters Lake Barbecue Information Day is planned for Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Miller’s Cabin, 161 Campbell Lane, Headwaters Lake 2. Westwood Barbecue and Information Day will be Saturday, July 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.. The location will be announced.

For further details about each of these events, go to firesmart.rdos.bc.ca.

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