Editorial: We’re all responsible for wildfire safety

Fire department highlights fire risk in local parks and greenspaces

Visitors to Oak Bay’s Uplands Park and other public greenspaces will notice new signs posted warning of the high fire risk.

The message: Be careful with how you use the space to prevent wildfires.

We’ve all seen what happens when wildfires burn in or near urban settings. The results can be catastrophic.

Capt. Rob Kivell, Oak Bay’s fire prevention officer notes the region’s unseasonably dry spring has increased the risk in our local parks and public spaces, and without any significant precipitation anticipated, it’s expected conditions in our urban forests and parks will continue to dry.

While people may assume the few days of cooler weather and rain have made a difference, it’s not the case, Kivell said. It’s simply not enough.

Oak Bay’s fire rating is now at a high hazard rating, meaning forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious. New fires may start easily, burn vigorously and challenge fire suppression efforts.

Smoking is often targeted as the prime risk, and we urge smokers to avoid smoking in dry, at-risk areas and to dispose of their materials in a safe manner –  but it’s not the only risk. “Anything can start a wildfire – it can even be a piece of glass,” Kivell said.

In addition to being careful in parks and public greenspaces, residents can also take steps around their own property to minimize the risk, including having water available in case a fire starts nearby

Grass – even that allowed to go dormant – should be kept short and shrubs should be well-maintained.

FireSmart Canada also suggests reducing the use of bark mulch near homes and choosing plants more resistent to fire to help slow the spread of blaze should it happen.

The risk of wildfire affects us all, and all of us can take measures to ensure a safer summer.

 

Just Posted

Classy cruiser continues to pay it forward

Bike up for sale to fund Sno’uyutth Legacy scholarships

Dance club marks 35 years with Sunday evening shindig

People Meeting People host dinner and dance Feb. 25 at Monterey Recreation

Significant heritage house on Beach Drive to be restored

Heritage Revitalization Agreement approved as part of subdivision proposal

Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

Does sedated, examined, collared and ear tagged in latest phase of deer management plan

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

Duncan cousins found guilty of aggravated sexual assault

Assault so violent, victim required surgery

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Feb. 20

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

Victoria airport to spend $19.4m on terminal expansion

Record passenger growth means YYJ needs to grow

Most Read