Kamloops, BC — Grass fire season is here, and although the warm days of summer are still months away, the risk of fast-moving grass fires in and around Kamloops increases each day.
The City of Kamloops has been working throughout the past winter on wildland fire fuel reduction measures in areas such as Pineview Valley, Juniper Ridge, and Kenna Cartwright Nature Park to prepare for the coming wildfire season. As Kamloops Fire Rescue (KFR) makes preparations, they urge Kamloops residents to begin their preparations at home too.
Kamloops Fire Rescue's Fire and Life Safety Educator Jamie Chase urges Kamloops residents to be extra cautious right now. "This early spring grass fire season occurs every year. From the time the snow first disappears to later in the spring when the grasslands turn green and begin actively growing, there is a lot of dead, extremely dry grass that ignites easily and fires can spread very quickly." Chase adds, "This time of year is not necessarily an indicator of what this year's wildfire season will be like. Early spring grass fire season is almost like its own separate season."
While the main fire season is still a few months away, KFR and the City of Kamloops urge residents to begin preparing their own properties now. Homeowners can access the City’s website for FireSmart information on how to protect their homes from the threat of wildfires at Kamloops.ca/FireSmart.
Kamloops Fire Rescue reminds residents:
- To be extremely careful with ignition sources near fine fuels (grass, leaves, etc.).
- To never discard smoking materials improperly—cigarettes tossed from vehicle windows start many fires each year.
- That property owners with legal burning permits must monitor weather conditions—strong winds cause out of control fires.
- That recreational campfires outside Kamloops city limits must be monitored closely and extinguished completely before leaving—at this time of year, BC wildfire suppression crews are minimally staffed and air tanker support is not yet available.
- That some FireSmart techniques for protecting private property can be inexpensive yet labour intensive and time consuming for the homeowner. Now is the time to get started—during springtime cleanup around the house.