Rossland was a hive of FireSmart activity last Saturday.
The FireSmart Wildfire Hazard Cleanup Day was underway across the townsite, residents of the McLeod East neighbourhood held a FireSmart Awareness workshop and Rossland’s FireSmart Community Recognition Program held an awards ceremony at City Hall in the afternoon.
“It was a busy day,” declared local Firesmart organizer Don Mortimer. “Judging by the amount of tree branches and other vegetation that was piled up curbside – we have had good participation from a large number of homeowners in Saturday’s wildfire hazard cleanup day.”
“We held a FireSmart awareness workshop to provide residents in one of our FireSmart Community Program neighbourhoods – McLeod East with training in how to assess and mitigate their home’s wildfire hazard”
“We use video footage from the Fort McMurray wildfire disaster to show residents how buildings are ignited by wildfire. It’s a real eye-opener for folks and always seems to motivate a lot of FireSmart vegetation removal amongst residents” stated Mortimer.
To top the day off, an award presentation ceremony for three Rossland neighbourhoods that qualified for FireSmart Canada Community Recognition Awards during the 2017 year was held at City Hall. Rossland mayor Kathy Moore and officials from BC Wildfire Service and Rossland Fire Dept. presented FireSmart Community Recognition Awards representatives from the Rossland neighbourhoods of – Black Bear, McLeod East and Iron Colt.
Rossland’s FireSmart Communities Program started in 2017 and has become very popular since then.
“This program is run by the residents themselves, taking priority actions on simple steps to reduce the wildfire hazard on their homes and in their yards – they work with a fire professional like myself who recommends specific actions and gets them started,” said Mortimer. “Progressively, by staging annual FireSmart Events like the FireSmart Awareness Workshop McLeod East held on Saturday, the neighbourhood reduces wildfire risk and ultimately achieves national recognition under the FireSmart Communities Program.
“We’re working with priority neighbourhoods on the City perimeter right now but will add other neighbourhoods where residents express an interest and where a wildfire risk does exist”.
Anyone with questions or interest in the Rossland FireSmart Communities Program can contact Don Mortimer, City of Rossland FireSmart Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.