Oak Bay Fire urges caution with summer fire risk

Checklist helps homeowners reduce the fire threat around their properties

The continuing hot, dry weather has prompted the Oak Bay Fire Department to remind residents to be extremely cautious with any flammable materials.

“The District of Oak Bay contains a number of grassland and bush areas including Anderson Hill Park and Uplands Park…the largest natural park area, encompassing approximately 75 acres,” notes Capt. Rob Kivell, from Oak Bay’s Fire Prevention Division.

Over the years, many of the natural grassland areas have accumulated considerable combustible materials, meaning fires can quickly develop into serious incidents. “These fires may threaten individual homes as well as the lives of residents living in the involved areas,” Kivell cautions.

Low amounts of rainfall, low humidity and elevated daytime temperatures all contribute to the hazard of wild land fires. However, “of all weather conditions, wind has the greatest effect on wildfires. The addition of wind to any wild land fire has the potential to greatly increase the severity of the incident.”

In addition to fanning the flames, wind can transport burning branches and embers to new areas of unburned grass, bush or even shake roofs.

The Oak Bay Fire Department’s Beware and Prepare program aims to reduce the threat of grassland and bush fires to properties in the interface zone.

To engage residents in essential fire-prevention measures during this extended hot, dry spell, the department has created a checklist to identify ways to reduce home and property wildfire hazards and prepare family and neighbours in the event of grassland and/or bush fires.

For more information, call the Oak Bay Fire Department at 250-592-9121.  If you discover a grassland or bush fire, call 9-1-1.

Beware and Prepare

Roof:

• Remove dead branches overhanging your roof.

• Remove any branches within 3 metres (10 feet) of your chimney.  (A permit may be required for Garry oak trees – contact the Parks Department.)

• Clean all dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters.

 

• Cover the opening on your chimney and stovepipe with a non-flammable screen of

1 cm (½ inch) or smaller mesh.

 

Construction:

• Use fire-resistive building materials.

• Enclose the underside of balconies and above-ground decks with fire-resistive materials. (A building permit may be required; check with the Building Department.)

• Install only dual-pane or triple-pane windows.

Landscape

• Remove all combustible vegetation at least 10 metres (30 feet) from all structures.

• Plant low-growing, fire-resistant plants, ground covers, perennials and annuals.

• Space native trees and shrubs at least three metres (10 feet) apart.

• Reduce the number of trees in heavily wooded areas to a minimum of three metres (10 feet) apart.

• Prune tree branches to 2.5 metres (8 feet) above ground, remove low brush and dry plant litter.

Yard

• Stack woodpiles at least 10 metres (30 feet) away from all structures.

• Locate propane tanks at least 10 metres (30 feet) away from all structures.

• Provide three metres (10 feet) of clearance around propane tanks.

Access

• Identify at least two exit routes from your neighbourhood.

• Use large house numbers that are easily visible from the road.

 

 

Just Posted

Study shows Oak Bay’s dwindling population is rapidly aging

Housing Needs Study says Oak Bay facing a shortfall of 349 bedrooms

Mainly cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Thursday

Plus a look ahead at the weekend’s forecast

Last full moon of the decade peaks at 12:12 on 12/12

December full moon also referred to as the cold moon

Canada ranks among countries most impacted by severe weather

Canada has climbed from the 42nd spot to ninth on the Climate Risk Index

Retooled Oak Bay hoops team starts strong

‘Not the tallest,’ but Oak Bay are off to big start

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

Most Read