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

Colwood development draws ire of residents

Developer says he’s listened and addressed residents’ concerns

What is it like to be part of the Canadian Armed Forces?

Try military rations, combat gear and simulated shooting range on Saturday

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

Victoria Police meet Aboriginal activists for afternoon flick

The group gathered as part of ongoing series of events supporting reconciliation efforts

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

West Shore craft fair roundup

Holiday-themed events taking place on the West Shore

Weekend hit list: Things to do in Greater Victoria

FRIDAY Find Mr. Nutcracker and his cousin Tommy Tempo as they visit… Continue reading

Uptown’s Christmas Tree Light Up is Saturday night

Uptown assembling 54-foot-tall tree for fifth annual Light Up

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Most Read