Fire protection units offered in Falkland

When a high or extreme fire danger rating is in place, Falkland residents are being advised of emergency actions being taken

  • Aug. 18, 2013 2:00 p.m.

When a high or extreme fire danger rating is in place, Falkland residents are being advised of emergency actions being taken.

The 17 fire departments in the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District now have access to equipment that can water down an entire neighbourhood as a preventative measure when a wildfire is threatening.

“Two structural protection units, containing a configuration of sprinklers, hoses and other related equipment, can be easily positioned to create a wet line of protection for up to 35 homes at a time, depending on housing density and size of the lots,” said Kenn Mount, CSRD fire services co-ordinator.

“We currently have 60 firefighters trained on these units and we continue to train additional firefighters for our strike teams.”

Falkland residents who have property bordering forest land can take the extra precaution of having their own sprinkler system to wet down their homes and buildings.

“Sprinkler systems are simple, effective and safe tools to use in protecting structures from threatening forest fires,” said Cliff Doherty, Shuswap Emergency Program co-ordinator.

“Not only does it dampen structures and trees which reduces the threat of ignition, it also helps cool buildings during exposure to radiant heat from the wildfire.”

There are other ways residents can decrease their risk during a wildfire which costs very little and reduces fire danger greatly. Some FireSmart tips include:

• Create at least a 10-metre wide clearing around your house and buildings.

• Trim the branches on all trees within your clearing to a height of three metres.

• Clear a one-metre strip around each building down to bare mineral soil.

• Keep your grass watered, cut and remove dead grass.

• Ensure your home is easily accessible to emergency workers.