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Never too early to start planning wildfire mitigation, says Okanagan-Similkameen regional district

A B.C. Wildfire firefighter, Katie Devaney, douses a hot spot during a controlled burn last year to help contain the White Rock Lake wildfire. Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

Spring may only be a week old, but the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen says it’s never too early to start preparing for wildfire season.

This week, the RDOS says it has been steadily making efforts to raise safety awareness for urban-wilderness areas — places where vegetation can be found adjacent to homes and structures — and can lead to evacuation alerts or orders.

The regional district says its efforts include the creation of a community wildfire protection plan, which led to various fuel management treatments and FireSmart projects within the region.

Read more: B.C. to provide nearly $500,000 to help 14 communities develop emergency evacuation routes

“Whether you are doing regular yard maintenance or making large-scale changes during renovations or landscaping, you can make choices that will help protect your home from wildfire,” said the regional district.

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A 17-page free homeowner’s manual about reducing the potential impacts of wildfire on your home is available from the province.

“Now is the time to take steps to reduce potential damage to your home and property from the impacts of wildfire,” said the RDOS.

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Extreme wildfire seasons may become common in B.C – Nov 28, 2021

“You should also prepare and practice your family and business emergency plan and prepare a 72-hour emergency kit for your family and vehicle. This is also the time to make plans to safely relocate pets or livestock.

“Coping with the stress of being out of your home during an evacuation order is easier if you have a plan.”

For more resource links, visit the RDOS website.

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B.C. Wildfire Service shifting to year-round operations – Feb 23, 2022

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