RDNO reminds residents to help prevent wildfires this season

Do your part, be fire smart

Even though it's be wetter than normal so far, now that summer is here the Regional District of North Okanagan is shifting its focus to wildfire season.

The RDNO is asking its residents to help reduce the risk of fires and prepare their homes and family in case of an emergency.

"It is important for residents to understand that they have a responsibility to be prepared for all aspects of the wildfire season," said Mike Fox, General Manager of Community Services, RDNO. "This includes applying FireSmart principles to their homes, having a personal emergency plan, and taking the necessary steps to be ready to evacuate should a wildfire threaten their neighbourhood or community."

Studies have shown that homes that are prepared for wildfire scenarios fare far better than homes that are not. A study that was conducted after the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire showed that homes that rated low for wildfire risk had a 62 per cent survival rate, compared to a 4 per cent survival rate of homes that rated extreme.

"There are several recent events both within BC and throughout Western Canada that demonstrate how quickly a wildfire can escalate, leaving homeowners with little or no time to protect their homes and gather their families, pets and important items when the threat becomes imminent," says Amanda Newell, an Emergency Management Specialist with Frontline Operations Group. "People never think it will happen to them so they don’t take the time to prepare, and we need to change that mindset."

For more information and how to prepare for wildfire season, you can visit the FireSmart BC website, or the RDNO Emergency Management website.

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