The Village of Salmo is encouraging residents to do their part to minimize the risk of wildfire to their home and neighbourhood by becoming FireSmart communities within the Salmo Fire Protection Area.
What are the benefits of being a FireSmart Community?
While the benefits can vary, there are a number of positive outcomes experienced by communities that become members of the FireSmart Communities Program. Being “FireSmart”:
- Creates defensible space that prevents fires from advancing and endangering homes and lives.
- Reduces the probability that wind-driven embers falling far ahead of a wildfire will ignite a fire on or around your home.
- Improves property value while reducing risk of loss.
- Improves community relationships with local fire staff. Firefighters can concentrate their efforts on fighting wildfires rather than devoting often limited resources to protecting homes – which may ultimately be lost if the fire can’t be contained.
- Encourages good neighbours, since the more homes within a community that adopt “FireSmart” practices, the greater the impact on reducing the heat and speed of the fire.
- Offers peace of mind, knowing that your home is prepared to survive a wildfire in the event one should occur.
Become a FireSmart Community
How can my community become a Recognized FireSmart Community?
Becoming FireSmart takes time and coordination with your neighbours and others, but getting started is actually quite straightforward.
Following these steps, your community will be on its way toward becoming FireSmart.
- Contact FireSmart – A community representative (you or another interested member of your community) phones FireSmart Canada at 780-435-7338 or completes an on-line request for contact by the Local FireSmart Representative on the FireSmart Canada website – www.firesmartcanada.ca
- Site Visit – Your Local FireSmart Representative, a specialist in wild-land/urban interface (WUI) fire, will visit your area and assess wildfire hazards.
- Community Representation – At the same time, your Community Champion (again, this could be you) recruits others from your community to create a FireSmart Board which will include other homeowners and fire professionals and possibly land managers, planners and members of other interest groups.
- Assessment & Evaluation – The Local FireSmart Representative completes the wildfire hazard assessment and evaluation of the community’s wildfire readiness and schedules a meeting with your local FireSmart Board to present the assessment for review and acceptance by the Board. Contact: [email protected] or call 1-250-352-1539
- Moving Forward/Creating A Plan – Your local FireSmart Board develops a FireSmart Community Plan (a set of solutions to its WUI fire issues based on the Local FireSmart Representative’s report). All members of the FireSmart Board must concur with the final plan which is presented to and approved by the provincial/territorial FireSmart Liaison. The Local FireSmart Representative may work with your community to seek project implementation funds, if needed.
- Implement Solutions – Solutions from your FireSmart Community Plan are implemented following a schedule designed by your FireSmart Board, who will be responsible for maintaining the program into the future.
- Apply for Recognition – FireSmart Community recognition status is achieved after your community submits its application form along with a completed FireSmart Community Plan and FireSmart Event documentation to your Local FireSmart Representative. Use the on-line form available on the FireSmart Canada website – www.firesmartcanada.ca
- Renewing Your Recognition Status – Annual renewal of your recognition is completed by submitting documentation of your community’s continued participation to the provincial/territorial FireSmart Liaison. Use the on-line form available on the FireSmart Canada website – www.firesmartcanada.ca
Information Bulletin Board
A Guide to Category 2 Fires
An open fire, excluding a campfire, that burns piled material no larger than two metres high and three metres wide, or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares (2000 square metres) in size.
A Guide to Category 3 Fires
An open fire that burns material in piles larger than two metres high and three metres wide, windrows, or grass over an larger than 0.2 hectares (2000 square metres) in size.
Ministry of Environment Fact Sheet
The Ministry of Environment recently developed a fact sheet that outlines the environmental laws that apply to burning in BC.
The attached fact sheet deals with requirements under the Environmental Management Act and emphasizes that anyone burning material also must comply with any local bylaws that exist for fire protection and/or air quality.