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Wildfire preparedness workshop aims to inspire Okanagan farmers to get ready

Click to play video: 'Okanagan farmers prepare for wildfire season' Okanagan farmers prepare for wildfire season
Watch: North Okanagan farmers encouraged to prepared for wildfire season. – Feb 14, 2019

When wildfires threaten the Okanagan Valley in B.C.’s Interior, rural properties are particularly vulnerable.

However, losing your property doesn’t have to be inevitable.

READ MORE: Global BC’s top news story of 2018: Another record-setting wildfire season

Local ranchers and farmers learned how to reduce the risk of property loss at a wildfire preparedness workshop held in the north Okanagan on Thursday.

The session provided in-depth details of how farmers can give their buildings the best chance of survival when flames approach.

WATCH: UBC Okanagan to research psychological impacts of life in wildfire, flooding areas

Click to play video: 'UBC Okanagan to research psychological impacts of life in wildfire, flooding areas' UBC Okanagan to research psychological impacts of life in wildfire, flooding areas
UBC Okanagan to research psychological impacts of life in wildfire, flooding areas – Feb 14, 2019

“If people take the necessary precautions to mitigate their home from the threat of wildfire … we can prevent structure loss in 95 per cent of the cases,” said Kevin Smith, a wildfire mitigation specialist who was leading the workshop.

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“Embers require fine fuels to find their ignition. So removing the fine fuels such as grasses, pine needles [and] vinyl seat cushions from things like decks, those are the real critical aspects.”

READ MORE: UBC Okanagan to research psychological impacts of life in wildfire, flooding areas

The event, held at the fire hall in Armstrong, B.C., attracted dozens of people from the agricultural sector.

The session was conducted by the B.C. Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative.

More resources about wildfire preparedness are available on their website.

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