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Posted: July 5, 2021

RDEK urges residents to FireSmart properties

Seeks neighbourhood champions with three workshops upcoming

On the heels of the historic heat wave, and with a long, hot summer in the forecast, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is urging all rural property owners to take steps now to FireSmart their properties and help reduce the risk of damage caused by wildfire.

“While we cannot change the fact that we live in a wildfire-prone region, we can increase our property’s resilience to wildfire by adopting FireSmart principles and taking steps to reduce hazards,” said RDEK Wildfire Resilience Coordinator Terry Balan. From simple actions like cleaning gutters and moving firewood or propane tanks, to choosing fire-resistant vegetation and pruning trees, there are numerous simple actions people can take to help reduce the risks on their property.

To help support residents in accessing available resources, the RDEK has launched a new project page for the East Kootenay Fire Smart program. This page has local information and links to the wealth of resources from FireSmart BC and FireSmart Canada.

In addition, the RDEK is looking for residents who are interested in becoming Neighbourhood Champions and acting as a leaders to coordinate and lead a collective effort to undertake wider FireSmart activities in their neighbourhood.

“We have some incredible examples of neighbourhoods in the East Kootenay who have made huge strides in making their community safer, and the Neighbourhood Champions have been a critical piece of this success,” added Balan. “Through our program, we also have additional resources available for Neighbourhood FireSmart programs including everything from wildfire hazard assessments to financial assistance for community chipping events.”

To help raise awareness and encourage neighbourhoods to get involved, the RDEK’s FireSmart Program will be hosting three FireSmart Neighbourhood Champion Workshops this month across the region:

Columbia Valley
July 19 – 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce (Lions’ Hall) – 651 Hwy 93/95

Cranbrook / Kimberley and surrounding areas

July 20 – 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Heritage Inn – 803 Cranbrook St N

July 26 – 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Jaffray Community Centre – 7369 Jaffray Village Loop Road

These sessions are open to everyone in the RDEK and there is no cost to attend.

To register, or for more information, please contact Terry Balan at [email protected].


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