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Start protecting your home from the threat of wildfire for free

Post Date:06/05/2017 9:06 AM

With summer and an increased wildfire risk on the way, Lac La Biche County is offering free home assessments for residents interested in safeguarding their properties.

Local firefighters and fire guardians have been trained to inspect properties and recommend ways to reduce the risk of wildfire, following FireSmart guidelines. This service is now available to the public at no charge.

“Wildfires are a fact of life in our area, but there is a lot that residents can do to protect their homes,” said Regional Fire Chief and Manager of Protective Services John Kokotilo. “Prevention and emergency preparedness are critical, and everybody has a stake in that.”

A frequently recommended tactic is pruning tree branches that are lower than six feet off the ground. Residents who have home assessments done, and who carry out pruning work as a result, can make arrangements for the wood to be chipped for free.

For more information or to arrange an assessment, residents can call (780) 623-6774.

Simple steps to reduce the risk of fire on your property

No home is 100 per cent fire-resistant, but there are many basic measures that can make a significant difference. Here are some frequently recommended ways to reduce wildfire risk:

  • Keep yards clear of leaves, sticks and other debris
  • Keep grass cut short
  • Keep roofs, eaves and gutters clean
  • If you have a firewood pile, keep it a safe distance away from your house
  • Prune tree branches that are lower than six feet off the ground
  • Control the underbrush and debris under and between trees
  • If you renovate or build new structures, build using fire-resistant materials like brick or metal siding

This list is not a complete guide to FireSmart practices. Full guidebooks published by the provincial government are available at the main reception desks at the Lac La Biche County Centre and McArthur Place.

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