As we approach wildfire season, North Saanich firefighters manned a stall at the Panorama giving advice to residents and promoting their free wildfire assessment service for homeowners.
The stall followed a social and local media and was described as being “well received.” Residents were able to enjoy complementary coffee and talk fire safety with members of North Saanich Fire Department.
“We’re encouraging people in hazard areas, like Dean Park, Horth Hill, Ardmore, Curtis Point, to have their properties assessed,” says North Saanich Fire Chief John Trelford, adding, “At the moment it’s free, as we’ve been successful in getting FireSmart grant money for 2018 and again for 2019.”
Fire Smart BC is an organization combining government agencies and fire departments focusing on fire safety and prevention. North Saanich Fire were able to apply for grants of $10,000 to fund free wildfire assessments for rural property owners.
They have brought in a registered forrester and trained two of their officers to conduct the assessments.
In 2018 they had planned to do 20 assessments but ended up meeting 28 requests. They expect there to be more demand this year.
Many of the rural properties back out onto woods and recommendations to be fire safe often include measures such as clearing overgrowth or removing debris and foliage from yards. The assessors offer advice, such as limiting wood chips on flower beds and thinking about landscaping, such as decorative rocks or ditches.
Some houses are at higher risk than others, such as those with cedar roofs or piles of firewood stacked next to the residence.
North Saanich Fire Department ask interested residents to drop by the fire hall at 986 Wain Rd, North Saanich, to make an appointment. Alternatively, they can call (250) 656-1931.