FireSmart assessments and a rebate on FireSmart work are being offered to residents within the Williams Lake Fire Protection District.
“It is now well known that the conditions of the home and landscaping within 30 metres of the home dictate whether a house burns or survives a fire storm,” said Fire Chief Erick Peterson.
Led by the Williams Lake Fire Department, the project is funded through the Union of B.C. Municipalities community resiliency investment program.
“We’ve been working on fuel treatments in the forested areas around town, but it’s important we also take measures to protect our own properties and our neighbours,” said Mayor Walt Cobb. “One of the best ways is to make sure an ember from a forest fire can’t ignite our homes.”
The city has contracted Ken Day of KDay Forestry Ltd. to carry out assessments for interested homeowners.
“Fuel treatments within the city can help to protect the community, but FireSmart efforts by private property owners are the ultimate defence against the threat of wildfires,” said Ken Day. “We strongly encourage FireSmart efforts at the neighbourhood level, with neighbours working together to make Williams Lake a FireSmart community.”
Under the same funding, the City is offering a rebate of 50 per cent of the costs to a maximum of $500 per property. The grant will fund up to 24 rebates on a first-come basis. FireSmart assessments before and after the work are required.
To arrange for a FireSmart assessment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your name and the address to be assessed. For more information on FireSmart initiatives, see https://firesmartbc.ca/.
Work is also underway to remove excess vegetation and fuel from green spaces within and around the city, being carried out by many agencies and coordinated by the Williams Lake and Area Wildfire Roundtable. Fuel treatments reduce the intensity of a fire and increase the effectiveness and safety of firefighting efforts.