Kamloops, BC – Kamloops Fire Rescue (KFR) and the City of Kamloops are encouraging residents to take steps to become FireSmart this summer as BC is faced with unprecedented fire conditions. FireSmart actions can reduce the risk of fire to homes and interface neighbourhoods.
FireSmart identifies activities in four zones around the home. The first and most important zone of FireSmart protection involves the area within 1.5 m of the home and attached structures, including fences. This is the space that KFR and the City hope residents will initially focus on to make the City safer this summer.
These activities include:
- removing anything flammable within 1.5 m of the house and attached structures
- cleaning roofs
- adding spark arrestors on chimneys
- removing debris from gutters
- screening off gaps under decks
- removing any combustibles stored under decks
Using chainsaws and other heavy machinery is highly discouraged at this time of year as it may cause sparks, which could ignite a fire.
Fire embers may seem small, but they should not be underestimated—50% of home fires caused by wildfires are started by sparks and embers. Regular maintenance and cleaning in the corners and crevices of exterior walls (where needles and debris build up) reduces fuel for embers to ignite. Residents should regularly remove windblown leaves from under decks as well as any flammable debris on balconies and patios.
KFR and the City want to help residents FireSmart their properties by offering free FireSmart assessments again this year. Residents can call Civic Operations at 250-828-3461 to book a free assessment.
Residents can also dispose of yard waste for free at the City’s three yard waste facilities. For more information on how to manage materials that need to be disposed of as part of FireSmart efforts, please visit Kamloops.ca/Garbage.
All homeowners can play a role in ensuring that our city is resilient in the face of increased wildfire risk. For more FireSmart tips, courses, and information, visit FireSmartBC.ca