It may be chilly this spring, but it’s not too early to get FireSmart, says West Kelowna Fire Chief – West Kelowna News

Wildfire season may not be a priority right now due to the cooler, wetter spring, but the West Kelowna Fire Department wants residents on the alert.

He is hosting FireSmart Family Day at Fire Station #31 on Old Okanagan Road this Saturday, May 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fire Chief Jason Brolund said there will be plenty of information to help people protect their homes from wildfires. Other partner organizations will also be on site, including Emergency Support Services and the BC Wildfire Service.

“The most effective actions under the FireSmart program are the things people can do for themselves around their homes,” says Brolund.

“Looking at the 10 meter buffer zone and making sure things like wood piles are away, that there are no trees against your house, that your gutters are clean. These are all very small actions that could potentially save someone’s home in a wildfire. »

He adds that Westbank First Nation and the City of West Kelowna have undertaken numerous wildfire mitigation projects in the community, and do so each year with support from the province.

“It goes into areas like parks or other municipally owned property – or in the case of WFN, the community forest – and doing really similar mitigations. Clean forest floor or remove debris, cut branches and trees.

Brolund notes that while the Logan Lake District received a lot of attention and accolades for its FireSmart actions protecting the community from the Tremont Creek wildfire last summer, something similar happened with the Mount Law fire.

“The work WFN has done in its community forest in the Turnbull Road and Gates Road area has been a tremendous success.

“It made the fire literally almost stop and it’s thanks to this kind of work around our whole community that we are safer.”

This year we had a small break in extreme wildfire risk due to cool weather, but the fire chief points out that the central Okanagan is experiencing persistent drought and things could change quickly.

“Even though it looks like it has rained a lot this spring, we are still starting from a fairly large deficit in terms of moisture in the soil,” says Brolund, people should take advantage of the cooler weather to do the necessary work. to protect their property. .

FireSmart Family Day is open to all community members. There will be free hot dogs, a live auto extrication demonstration, and Sparky the Fire Dog will be there.

Drivers should be prepared. The Old Okanagan Road will be closed between Drought Road and Apollo Road between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday for the event.

You can find more details here.