Steve Dodge prunes lower limbs from a conifer tree in someone’s yard, which helps reduce the chance of fire spreading. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)

FireSmart Feature: Steve Dodge and composite decking

Dodge replaced an aging wood deck with one made of composite, fire-resistant materials.

Although the past couple of summers in Quesnel have been rainy, the recent wildfire smoke that engulfed our community is an important reminder of the 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons and of dry years to come.

The City of Quesnel’s Local FireSmart Representative (LFR), Amanda Vibert, was able to catch up with Steve Dodge, the manager of the former United Way FireSmart program, who has taken this summer to do FireSmart projects around his Quesnel home.

“The 2020 almost-non-existent fire season has been the perfect time to continue with the FireSmarting activities that were first identified following the 2017 season. The cool and mostly wet weather has made it easier to remove my cedar trees and stumps and install my new composite deck,” said Dodge.

This summer, Dodge replaced an aging wood deck with one made of composite, fire-resistant materials. Traditional slatted wood decks are vulnerable to fires, but building with a fire-rated deck product can reduce the risk, potentially saving not only the deck, but the entire home. During wildfires, airborne embers can travel up to two kilometres in the wind and can land on your roof, in your yard or on your deck.

FireSmart Canada reminds us that it’s not only the materials used to build the deck that are important, but also the presence of combustible materials stored under your deck and the vegetation around it. Get in the habit of regularly raking up leaves from under your deck and don’t store items around it that could act as fuel for embers, such as woodpiles. Ideally, sheath the underside of the deck with non-combustible sheathing, such as fibre cement board or metal screening.

READ MORE: Quesnel’s United Way Fire Mitigation Project has been a success so far

FireSmart works as a prevention measure, so it’s never too early to start — but it can be too late.

“Although the 2017 and 2018 fire seasons are starting to fade from memory, when smoke is enveloping the city and flames can be seen on the horizon, it’s time to start packing your bags, not pruning your conifers!” says Dodge.

For more information on how you can get started, visit firesmartbc.ca or email the City of Quesnel’s Forestry Initiatives Program at firesmart@quesnel.ca.

Submitted by Amanda Vibert. Amanda is the contracted Local FireSmart Representative with the City of Quesnel’s Forestry Initiatives Program.



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bc wildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents of Riske Creek came to the rescue of a truck driver who slid off Highway 20 in icy conditions with a load of calves Tuesday night (Oct. 27). (Facebook photo)
Riske Creek residents rush to scene of overturned cattleliner on Highway 20 Tuesday night

Residents rounded up cattle and directed traffic in the dark during a heavy snowfall

(Photo submitted)
Mistaken identity leads to unlikely alliance, creation of short film

Film highlights similarities between a man and his dog

Williams Lake city council said during Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting it does not want the man arrested in the city Sunday, Oct. 26 after a high-speed chase released into the community. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We want to go on record protecting our community’: Williams Lake Coun. Scott Nelson

Leaders do not want high-speed chase suspect released into community

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

An elderly woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past an advertisement for a television series in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. has been under a COVID-19 state of emergency for more than half the year

Province has been under a state of emergency for 32 weeks – and counting

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)
Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

Most Read