With wildfire season around the corner, the Regional District of North Okanagan announced a FireSmart photo contest May 13, 2020, to encourage homeowners to prepare their homes. (File)

North Okanagan homeowners can enter FireSmart contest

Pandemic pruning could earn you $150 in gardening tools with RDNO’s new contest

Any Electoral Area residents within the Regional District of North Okanagan who think their home is FireSmart and can prove it with a photograph could be entered to win some new gardening tools.

The RDNO is hosting the photo contest online to encourage homeowners to be proactive in FireSmarting their homes as wildfire season is right around the corner.

“We live in a fire-prone ecosystem,” said John Davies, RPF and wildfire management specialist with Frontline Operations Group. “We can’t eliminate wildfire risk, but we can minimize it through small actions on our properties.”

As part of the RDNO’s Wildfire Preparedness Days, in collaboration with Frontline Operations and FireSmart, the district’s Facebook page will offer recommendations from wildfire experts for residents to use as an educational tool.

“We want people to understand that making your home FireSmart doesn’t have to be complex or expensive,” FireSmart representative Brittany Seibert said. “Simple, everyday yard work can go a long way in reducing your risk to wildfire.”

“By cleaning combustible debris from your roof and gutters or by keeping your grasses short, you are reducing the likelihood of ignition or high intensity wildfire around your home.”

The photo contest runs May 13-June 10 for all RDNO Electoral Area residents. To enter, a before and after photo of FireSmart efforts need to be sent in a direct message to the RDNO Facebook page.

The winner will be selected randomly from a draw. The prize: various gardening tools valued at $150.

“This is a great opportunity to explore backyard composting with the yard and garden waste that is cleared and cleaned up while making their properties FireSmart,” Community Services general manager Mike Fox said. “This way, residents can avoid leaving their homes during the pandemic.”

“The RDNO understands that some properties will have a large amount of yard waste and pruning, so if residents do go to the yard and garden waste drop-offs, they ask that everyone maintains social distancing.”

If homeowners require more information on how they can FireSmart their home, they are encouraged to contact Frontline Operations, located in Vernon, BC, at info@frontlineops.ca or check out FireSmartBC.ca

Funding for the Regional District of North Okanagan Community Wildfire Preparedness days was provided through the Community Resiliency Investment program and was provided by the Union of BC Municipalities.

The grant enabled the regional district to retain the services of Frontline Operations Group to conduct the project.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Survey drives recovery support for North Okanagan businesses

READ MORE: Pandemic good time to get FireSmart: Vernon firefighters


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