This handy manual can help you make your house more resistant to fire – and when your house is more resistant, so is the community.

RDEK encourages residents to FireSmart properties amid record heatwave

RDEK also seeking neighbourhood champions

The RDEK is urging all residents of the Kootenays to take steps now to FireSmart their properties in order to help reduce the risk of damage caused by wildfire, amidst an historic heat wave and a long, hot summer ahead.

“While we cannot change the fact that we live in a wildfire-prone region, we can increase our property’s resilience to wildfire by adopting FireSmart principles and taking steps to reduce hazards,” said RDEK Wildfire Resilience Coordinator Terry Balan.

READ MORE: City of Kimberley applies for grant for FireSmart surface fuel work within city limits

“From simple actions like cleaning gutters and moving firewood or propane tanks, to choosing fire-resistant vegetation and pruning trees, there are numerous simple actions people can take to help reduce the risks on their property.”

The RDEK has launched a new project page for the East Kootenay Fire Smart program, found at engage.rdek.bc.ca/firesmart to help connect residents with available resources. The page contains local information and links to the wealth of resources from FireSmart BC and FireSmart Canada.

The RDEK is also seeking residents who are interested in taking on Neighbourhood Champion roles. These individuals would act as leaders to coordinate and lead a collective effort to undertake wider FireSmart activities in their neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Southeast Fire Centre communities receive FireSmart funding

“We have some incredible examples of neighbourhoods in the East Kootenay who have made huge strides in making their community safer, and the Neighbourhood Champions have been a critical piece of this success,” Balan said. “Through our program, we also have additional resources available for Neighbourhood FireSmart programs including everything from wildfire hazard assessments to financial assistance for community chipping events.”

To encourage involvement and raise awareness the RDEK’s FireSmart Program is hosting three FireSmart Neighbourhood Champion Workshops this month through the East Kootenay:July 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, July 20 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook and July 26 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Jaffray community Centre.

These workshops are open to everyone in the region and are free of charge. To register contact Terry Balan at firesmart@rdek.bc.ca