Metchosin preps residents for interface fires

Where rural meets urban fire can be particularly tricky says Metchosin fire chief

Rural homes surrounded by forest have their own challenges when preparing for wildfires.

In Metchosin residents often find their homes “intertwined with trees and forest,” said Stephanie Dunlop, emergency co-ordinator and fire chief.

For the fire department, wildland urban interface fires add extra challenges because, “it’s where homes meet forest,” Dunlop said explaining firefighters are not only working with a structure fire.

Dunlop will lead a workshop explaining what homeowners can do to help make homes more fire resistant.

“People need to be concerned, a small ember could start a house fire,” she said.

Homeowners will learn different risks from selected building materials including asphalt verses cedar shingles.

“Do people have pine needles on their roof and in their gutters? There are also some plants that carry oils and burn easier than others,” Dunlop explained.

Having some green grass growing around a home can slow down a fire and Dunlop advises people to regularly water areas around the home.

“It’ll be less likely to catch on fire,” she said. “These are the types of proactive things you want to do. We have a much higher risk of a forest fire here than we do a tsunami.”

 

The Metchosin Emergency Program hosts FireSmart-How to Prepare Your Home on Wednesday, July 31 at the fire hall, 4440 Happy Valley Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m.