Saturday, July 2, 2022

Save your home, community from wildfire before it’s too late


As a devastating wildfire ravaged Lytton, BC in 2021, it serves as a reminder to always be prepared before disaster strikes.

In the case of a wildfire, there are many things you can do to protect your property and community before it’s too late.

As long as you don’t see or smell the smoke, or until you see the ashes and embers in the air from a wildfire, said Lori Daniels, a forestry professor and wildfire expert at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in a recent interview. Don’t see, wait until it’s “too late”. With the Weather Network.

Ideally, spring and fall are the best times to prepare your property—amidst favorable temperatures.

“We think of communities like Lytton that had no hope of being able to respond. Given the heat and wind last year, it was very instant.” Daniel said. “People didn’t have time to collect their personal belongings, let alone try to set their homes on fire at the last second. The more we can do in advance, the better.”

(Getty Images)

See also: Canada in 2021: West Coast faces the wrath of Mother Nature

fireproof your home

As part of keeping communities safe, Daniels encourages people and businesses to build defensive spaces around their buildings through FireSmart Canada – an initiative that facilitates inter-agency collaboration in promoting awareness and education. does. It aims to reduce the risk of loss of life and property from fire at wildland urban interfaces.

“It’s not always the case that the flames reach the edge of town and ignite homes or structures,” Daniels said. “Often it is embers burning from a fire, raised on the wind and blown, sometimes several kilometers, from the firefront into a community, and then landing in homes and yards.”

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She said that no matter how easily a structure catches fire from a nearby fire, there are several steps you can take to protect your home from disaster, including making sure your roof is free of burnable debris. Clear, she said.

(Communications Nova Scotia) Horseshoe Lake Wildfire
(Communications Nova Scotia)

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“Every fall, winter, and spring, leaves and needles collect on the roofs of our homes and collect in gutters, which actually ignites the roof of your house to catch fire. Clean gutters and roofs.” It’s really important to maintain the lines,” said Daniels.

Also, it is important to choose building materials for your roof, especially those that are fire resistant. “Shingles made of asphalt or metal would be good choices. Materials such as wood shingles or shingles contribute to wildfire risk,” she said.

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Daniels said another way we can protect our homes is to simply make sure there is “absolutely no combustible material” within an area of ​​1.5 meters surrounding the building.

“Use rock gardens or choose landscaping features that prevent flammable plants from growing right above your home,” Daniels said.

Forest fire smoke.  credit: Dr. Courtney Howard / Submitted
(Dr. Courtney Howard / Presented)

“It helps to maintain the fire-smart status of your home and yard longer by investing just a little bit of time each spring and fall to make sure your home is ready should a wildfire strike your community.” Had to get in touch.”

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As part of staying safe, fire hazard ratings are critically important for communities to be aware of. Daniels said it incorporates several weather variables such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and precipitation over the past 24 hours to describe how dry the forest is and the current threat level.

“So while the fire hazard ranges from extreme to extreme, we want to be really careful not to contribute to accidental ignition. In many places, you can find that there are restrictions like you’re not allowed to have a campfire Because the risk of starting a wildfire is very high,” Daniels said.


With regard to the risk of wildfires in Canada, and if some areas are more vulnerable than others, Daniels said that “anywhere” we have flammable vegetation that puts surrounding communities at risk. Because of the widespread threat, a collective approach to protecting your property from fire is “really important.”

“Homeowners can engage with their surroundings to share in common principles so that it’s not just one home but your entire neighborhood that is applying those FireSmart principles,” Daniels said. “What you do affects your neighbors and your neighbors’ actions affect your home too.”

Thumbnails courtesy of James McDonald / Bloomberg Creative / Getty Images. Creative #: 1346573307.

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