Free ag wildfire workshop

Following a wildfire season that tested many South Okanagan farmers, a wildfire mitigation workshop is being held this month in Penticton specifically for agricultural producers.

The free session will take place on Feb. 13 and 14 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort's conference centre.

The first day is for vineyard and horticultural crop producers, while the second is for livestock producers.

The workshop, put on by the province and the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen, will incorporate how to protect equipment and livestock, map out assets on properties and reduce fire risks, among other topics.

"As the climate changes, wildfire risk is expected to continue to increase. Being prepared in advance of the wildfire season is critical," the province said in a news release.

"While local and provincial governments play an important role in wildfire response, individual agricultural producers have an equally important role to play: Understanding the site-level wildfire hazards of your farm or operation."

The urgency to evacuate livestock was likely most evident last summer when the Finlay Creek wildfire burned north of Summerland near agricultural properties. The Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team fostered dozens of animals for close to two weeks.

Some farmers in areas not at risk took on extra animals during that time, which was highlighted when a Boundary resident donated close to 8,000 pounds of hay.

More information on the workshop can be found here.

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