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RDNO Holds FireSmart Contest for Electoral Area Residents

Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Wildfire season is just around the corner and this risk should be of no surprise to residents of the Okanagan.

"We live in a fire-prone ecosystem," says John Davies, RPF and Wildfire Management Specialist with Frontline Operations Group. "We can't eliminate wildfire risk, but we can minimize it through small actions on our properties."

Now is the time to take proactive steps towards increasing the resiliency of your home and neighbourhood. As part of Regional District of North Okanagan's (RDNO) Wildfire Preparedness Days, a collaborative social media campaign with Frontline Operations Group is being launched in an effort to increase awareness and education on reducing the risk to the impacts of wildfire.

The campaign involves recommendations made by wildfire experts at Frontline Operations Group and the FireSmart program, which will be posted to the RDNO's Facebook page for residents to use.

"We want people to understand that making your home FireSmart doesn't have to be complex or expensive. Simple, everyday yard work can go a long way in reducing your risk to wildfire," says Brittany Seibert, Local FireSmart Representative with Frontline Operations Group.

"By cleaning combustible debris from your roof and gutters or by keeping your grasses short, you are reducing the likelihood of ignition or high intensity wildfire around your home."

A photo contest will be held from May 13 until June 10 for RDNO's Electoral Area residents to encourage homeowners to take the necessary proactive steps. To enter, RDNO Electoral Area residents simply need to submit a before and after photo of their FireSmart efforts. The winner will be randomly selected from a draw, and the prize of various gardening tools is valued at $150.

Contest information and entry details can be found on the RDNO Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RDNorthOkanagan/

"This is a great opportunity to explore backyard composting with the yard and garden waste that is cleared and cleaned up while making their properties FireSmart. This way, residents can avoid leaving their homes during the pandemic," says Mike Fox, General Manager of Community Services.

"The RDNO understands that some properties will have a large amount of yard waste and pruning, so if residents do go to the yard and garden waste drop-offs, they ask that everyone maintains social distancing."

If homeowners require more information on how they can FireSmart their home, they are encouraged to contact Frontline Operations, located in Vernon, BC, at [email protected] or check out FireSmartBC.ca

Funding for the Regional District of North Okanagan Community Wildfire Preparedness days was provided through the Community Resiliency Investment program and was provided by the Union of BC Municipalities. The grant enabled the regional district to retain the services of Frontline Operations Group to conduct the project.

Contest Rules: 

  • Only RDNO Electoral Area Residents eligible
  • Photo submitted via "message" button or Direct Message
  • Must submit a before & after photo clearly showing their FireSmart efforts
  • Photo must be submitted by Wednesday, June 10, 2020, @ 11:59 pm PST
  • A winner will be randomly drawn on Friday, June 12, 2020
  • Winner must provide ID with evidence of address prior to picking up prize. Winners not within Electoral Areas are not eligible to win, a new winner will be drawn should this happen
  • Winner will be announced on the RDNO page and DM'd
  • Prize is valued at $150 (Rake, gloves, hand tools, pruning shears)

When living in the wildland interface environment there will always be an associated risk to wildfire. Recommendations given are guidelines backed by science and research meant to reduce and minimize the impacts and risk of wildfire.