Our community is situated in an environmentally diverse region with rich natural resources and features. The District, and specifically the Fire Services department, strives to protect our residents and their surroundings by reducing the inherent wildfire risk that exists in our community.
Here’s a brief summary of the efforts made by the District in recent years, including some specific information on efforts relating to ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park, an area of specific concern for many of our residents.
- 2011: The District’s first Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) was prepared, funded by a successful grant application. A CWPP assists local governments in identifying wildfire risks in their community, as well as opportunities to reduce those risks.
- 2018: North Saanich purchased informational wildfire prevention signage, banners, and booklets to increase resident awareness, and also prepared a mailout to residents containing key strategies to reduce wildfire risk on their property.
- 2018-2019: The District has completed over 50 FireSmart home and property assessments over the past two years. A majority of these assessments were located in the Dean Park neighbourhood. For information on property assessments, please contact the North Saanich Fire Department.
- 2019: North Saanich hosted an open house at Panorama Recreation on May 4, which is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day.
- 2021: After a process of community engagement, the District prepared a revised CWPP, again funded by a successful grant application. This CWPP provides the District with a framework that can be used to review and assess areas of identified high fire risk. The CWPP also helps guide the improvement and/or development of emergency plans, emergency response, evacuation plans, communication and education programs, relevant bylaw development, and the management of potentially hazardous nearby forest lands.
In addition to efforts made by the District, BC Parks has been continually working to address wildfire risk in ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park, including conducting several detailed wildfire threat assessments, and performing work to remove vegetation that increases wildfire risk, such as brush and small/downed trees. As of 2019, BC Parks has banned smoking in all provincial parks year round (except for within camping areas), and they have further plans in motion to reduce wildfire risk in the park, which are expected to commence in 2020.
For information on what you can do to reduce wildfire risk to your home and community, please refer to the BC FireSmart Manual.
If you have any questions regarding wildfire prevention efforts in the District, please contact the North Saanich Fire Department.