Charred hillside from a brush fire in Langford had the potential to spread the nearby homes. Langford Fire Rescue wants to teach residents who live close to brush areas and forests how to fireproof their properties to help avoid the spread of fire. Two workshops are slated for this Saturday at the No. 1 hall on Peatt Road.

Tinder-dry conditions prompt Langford Fire Rescue to schedule workshops

Langford firefighters will teach residents how to Firesmart properties to reduce the risk of fire disaster

The absence of significant rain on the South Island for numerous weeks has area fire departments on high alert for brush fires.

“I’ve never seen it like this,” said Langford Fire Rescue firefighter and safety inspector Lance Caven. Where normally, brush fires see firefighters from the nearest hall paged to respond, any calls for such incidents are sent out to all three halls, just in case, he said.

While his department hasn’t been extra busy responding to such fires, despite the conditions, he says, Langford Fire Rescue is being proactive in encouraging homeowners whose properties back onto wooded areas to attend a July 11 workshop on how to Firesmart their homes.

“We want people to be extra diligent given the dry conditions. They have to call right away (if they see fire) because of the aggressive nature of fire,” he said.

Aware of the potential for scenarios like the Kelowna fires from a few years back, when wildfires raced along a dry hillside to homes where such combustibles as stacked wood and dry leaves sat nearby, the department will teach residents about removing potential fire interfaces and reducing the risk of disaster.

Firefighters will provide such strategies as cutting off the lower branches of trees closest to the house, to help prevent ground fires from racing up a tree and being blown in the direction of your roof.

“A lot of it is about landscaping, and keeping your lot clean and free of debris,” Caven says.

Two Firesmart sessions are being offered this Saturday at the No. 1 hall at Peatt Road and Veteran’s Memorial Parkway, one at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. Both sessions are free.

The tinder dry conditions have firefighters on their toes making sure they respond quickly to any threat of brush fires, but recent high temperatures have seen them called for more heat-related rescues, including four on Mount Finlayson.

One instance was a person who suffered from dehydration that led to chest pains, two were people who slipped and badly twisted an ankle and another was a large dog that suffered from heat exhaustion and ultimately succumbed. A crew helped get the animal and its owner off the mountain safely.

“People want to get out and take advantage of the weather,” Caven said, but they need to take precautions.

While it’s still warm and muggy, this week’s overcast skies – in combination with the drifting smoke from fires burning on the Island and coastal mainland – has offered some respite from the hot sun.

For more details on Firesmart tips, visit or call Langford Fire Rescue at 250-478-9555.

Just Posted

West Shore parents want $10-a-day daycare pilot at other centres

Some parents want pilot funding going towards families in financial need

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh proposes new approach to tackling opioid crisis

Singh says the government should look at harm reduction rather than punishment

UPDATED: Malahat reopened in both directions following car fire

Drive BC says the road will be closed until approximately 3pm

Police still investigating possible child abduction in Langford

Suspect was a stranger and not a family member

20 per cent down payment means many still cannot afford to own their own home

Study finds Langford one of only four markets without a gap between required and actual income in owning a home

First ticket sold for Victoria’s second comic con

Guest list is top-secret for the March 22-24 Capital City Comic Con coming 2019

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Most Read