The City of Campbell River Fire Department is conducting free FireSmart Home Assessments for properties within the municipal boundary to help people better protect their homes and properties from wildfire. Creating a FireSmart property lessens the potential impact of fire by reducing the available fuels surrounding your home. No matter where you live, your actions play an important role in the fire resiliency of your home, community, and the province.
“Neighbourhoods, where residents have taken steps to reduce their vulnerability to wildfire, have a greater chance of surviving a wildfire without the intervention of the Fire Department,” says Shawn Hall, City FireSmart Coordinator. “On average, there are approximately 1,500 wildfires in BC every year, and the frequency and severity of wildfires are expected to worsen. The FireSmart program helps reduce wildfire risks to homes, neighbourhoods, critical infrastructure, and vital natural resources. The best part is, it’s easy to do.”
During a free FireSmart Home Assessment, the City’s FireSmart Coordinator will tour your property with you and together, any vulnerabilities to wildfire will be explored. The assessment takes place entirely outside the home, and you will be provided with a summary of recommendations. The results of your home assessment are not shared with other agencies. Homeowners can then work to complete some, or all, of the recommendations and may be eligible for a rebate of 50% of the cost, up to $1,000.
The City was awarded grant funding, in partnership with We Wai Kai First Nation, from the Union of BC Municipalities for the 2023 FireSmart program. The City is in the process of applying for additional funding to include Wei Wai Kum in the FireSmart program. The City FireSmart Coordinator is working closely with neighbouring First Nations to support their inclusion in the Fire Smart program. Together we can reduce the wildfire risks to the region.
Another way residents can help protect themselves and others from wildfire is by joining forces with neighbours to become a Canadian FireSmart Recognized Neighbourhood; a program developed by FireSmart Canada to officially recognize neighbourhoods that have taken critical steps to become more wildfire resilient. The City recognized Treelane Ridge as a FireSmart neighbourhood in 2022, and the neighbourhood is already on its way to obtaining a renewed FireSmart status for 2023.
“Congratulations to the Treelane Ridge Community for their hard work, and for leading the way to a safer community,” says Mayor Kermit Dahl. “We all have a part to play when it comes to preventing wildfire and reducing risk and it starts with the neighbourhoods where we live.”
Research has shown that homes and their surrounding areas are particularly vulnerable to wildfire, which is why FireSmart principles focus on specific actions residents can implement in those areas, also known as the Home Ignition Zone. By working together, properties within neighbourhoods that are collectively FireSmart, become an effective wildfire-resilient community and have a greater chance of surviving a wildfire without the intervention of the fire department. FireSmart homes and neighbourhoods allow firefighters to concentrate on fighting the wildfire, which ultimately saves more lives and homes.
Learn more about FireSmart Home Assessments and becoming a FireSmart Canada Recognized Neighborhood at campbellriver.ca/firesmart.To book your free assessment, email email@example.com or call the City Fire Department at 250-286-6266. For practical, effective tools to be better prepared when a wildfire occurs, visit Neighbourhood Recognition Program | FireSmart Canada.
Contact: Dan Verdun, Fire Chief | 250-286-6266 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Pictured from left to right are Sigi Bentham and Bonnie Logan from the Treelane Ridge Neighbourhood, and Shawn Hall, City FireSmart Coordinator, during the Treelane Ridge FireSmart Neighbourhood Recognition event.