FireSmart is a wildfire safety programme with an economical and common sense approach. The key concept of FireSmart involves removing or reducing the amount of burnable material (think “fire fuel”) from around your home.
The area within 10 meters (30 feet) of your home is the “Priority Zone.” If you remove fire fuel from this priority zone, it will dramatically increase the fire protection of your home.
Small actions, like clearing away dead woody debris, mowing the lawn, and pruning lower branches from nearby trees, can be the deciding factor between whether or not your home survives a fire storm.
Cleaning needles from gutters and moving flammables (like firewood) away from the priority zone are other simple common-sense things you can do to protect your home.
For more information about FireSmart, check out the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch website, the FireSmart Canada website, drop by the Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) Ganges Firehall, phone (250) 537-2531, or visit the SSIFR website.
A note from a delighted resident: Having edited a number of FireSmart articles this year, it got more and more difficult to ignore the fire hazards surrounding our cedar-sided home. Finally, last month, I got busy. With help, I removed firewood that had been stored far too near our home, removed debris that had gathered during winter storms, and trimmed all the lower, dead branches from the many trees near our home. Once I had committed to get it done, it was remarkably easy.
In addition to being a far more FireSmart home, it looks great! And, by clipping the lower branches of our very large cedar tree, I have created a lovely glen for my hammock and hummingbird feeder. . . the perfect cool summer hideaway.
I had no idea becoming FireSmart could be so rewarding.. . . . Gayle Baker