RDOS Regional Reflections | prepare now for wildfire season

News Article

Wildfires have been a regular and natural part of life in British Columbia for millennia. In recent years, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) has had its share of wildfires in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). This is any area where combustible wildland fuels (vegetation) are found adjacent to homes, farm structures, other outbuildings, or infrastructure, prompting evacuation alerts or orders.

Since 2004, the RDOS has made efforts to raise WUI fire safety awareness and advocate for prevention. This includes the creation of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which led to various fuel management treatments and FireSmart projects within the region. Whether you are doing regular yard maintenance or making large scale changes during renovations or landscaping, you can make choices that will help protect your home from wildfire. 

“Wildfire can follow a path from a forest or grassland to your home. A wildfire moving across the tops of trees can be slowed if the trees are spaced out. It can be further slowed by flame-resistant plants and shrubs in your yard. Since plants have different flammability, consider spacing out your plants to increase your home’s ability to withstand a wildfire.”FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual 

Now is the time to take steps to reduce potential damage to your home and property from the impacts of wildfire. You should also prepare and practice your family and business emergency plan and prepare a 72-hour emergency kit for your family and vehicle. This is also the time to make plans to safely relocate pets or livestock. Coping with the stress of being out of your home during an evacuation order is easier if you have a plan. 

Please visit the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) website for FireSmart resource links and preparedness tips: https://emergency.rdos.bc.ca/ 


Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen 


Erick Thompson

Andrea Rendall                                           RDOS Toll Free

RDOS Communications                                 

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