Though the hot and hazy days of summer may seem like a distant vision in the future, the North Saanich Fire Department recommends residents take time this spring to assess their properties and prepare for this year’s fire season.
As residents groom their gardens, rake up winter debris, and trim back branches, the Fire Department encourages people to prepare their yard waste for disposal, whether that’s composting at the District’s Green Waste Facility or through backyard burning, which ends on May 7, 2022. (Residents can download the 2022 green waste and burning schedules at northsaanich.ca/post/2021-2022-burning-season/.)
Disposing of combustible yard waste early in the year is a helpful habit and the kind of proactive planning that can help reduce the risk of wildfires later in the summer.
One of the most comprehensive, helpful, and up-to-date resources for residents interested in protecting their homes from wildfires is the BC’s FireSmart program, at firesmartbc.ca/. The FireSmart site features many excellent tools, including a homeowner’s manual, landscaping guide, and home assessment score card.
Just as importantly, the North Saanich Fire Department offers a variety of in-person services for residents who are prepping for the fire season.
For example, Fire Department staff will visit North Saanich addresses to provide expert feedback on critical issues related to homes and properties alike, identifying wildfire risks like cedar shingles and dead trees, firewood piles, and propane tanks that are too close to the home.
To request a site visit, call the North Saanich Fire Department at 250-656-1931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Saanich residents who would like to take a leadership role in their neighbourhood helping others identify and mitigate wildfire risks are encouraged to ask the Fire Department for more information about becoming “community champions.”
The North Saanich Fire Department is the recipient of a $150,000 2022 FireSmart Community Funding & Supports grant, administered through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. The funding will be used for initiatives like public education, fuel mitigation in parks, and property assessments of wildfire risks.