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FireSmart launches landscaping program in Penticton, B.C. ahead of wildfire season

Click to play video: 'FireSmart landscaping program launches in Penticton'
FireSmart landscaping program launches in Penticton
FireSmart landscaping program launches in Penticton – Apr 19, 2022

FireSmart BC has teamed up with the Home Hardware Building Centre in Penticton, B.C., to launch an in-store fire smart landscaping program.

Penticton is among the first communities in the province to launch this program.

“Our FireSmart program is launching the plant tagging program here at Home Hardware. It launched in 2021 at Art and Knapp in Prince George and in Kamloops,” said FireSmart coordinator Miyoko McKeown.

FireSmart said they hope to help the community make informed choices about how to increase wildfire resiliency, especially around homes.

“Given the city that we’re living in, wildfire is not going away anytime soon so we really need to learn how to live with wildfire and landscape and build our homes to be fire smart,” said McKeown.

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The in-store program visually shows gardeners which plants are considered more fire-resistant through a tagging system.

“When you are thinking about landscaping around the home, you’ll see that tag and you can have [those plants] super close to your home and not worry about embers landing on them and then igniting a larger fire closer to your home,” said McKeown.
Click to play video: 'Penticton fire department seeking practice homes for wildfire training exercise'
Penticton fire department seeking practice homes for wildfire training exercise

Any plants without a tag means that they have the potential to easily ignite.

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“Generally known as evergreens or Christmas trees, cedars, they are full of oils and resin that keeps them green year-round. The issue with these ones is that they accumulate a lot of dry, dead material,” said McKeown.

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“A whole bunch of dead material is super susceptible to embers landing close to homes and then igniting these.”

For gardeners not shopping at Home Hardware, FireSmart also has several online tools including a landscaping guide to ensure you are making informed gardening decisions everywhere.

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Minister visits Vernon, B.C. to promote B.C.’s wildfire response

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