Extreme Fire Danger Means We Should All Be Prepared

(North Cowichan, BC) – The fire danger level for North Cowichan­ and much of Vancouver Island  is currently “extreme” which means surrounding forests are dry and contain fuels that make the risk extremely serious. Fires can start easily, spread rapidly, and may be challenging to contain. North Cowichan fire department members are also rotating through shifts to support the firefighting efforts in BC’s interior as they face a difficult fire season. These are stark reminders of the importance of being prepared during wildfire season. 

FireSmart BC encourages all residents to make a plan, keep your property FireSmart, and stay up-to-date on the latest evacuation alerts and orders during fire season. “Whether the fire risks are extreme or low, the stakes are always high if you are not prepared,” states the FireSmart BC website. “Following evacuation alerts and orders and getting ready before a wildfire disaster strikes can make a world of difference.”

“Many of the homes in North Cowichan are adjacent to forest land, the ‘wildland urban interface’,” said Jason deJong, the municipality’s Assistant Fire Chief. “These areas, where the built environment meets the natural environment, are especially susceptible, and the more we do to prepare individually and as a municipality, the more we will reduce the risk, increase our resiliency, and be better able to respond when faced with a wildfire in our community.”

“I must commend the North Cowichan Fire Department and our incredible firefighters who have also had a busy few weeks responding to serious fires locally, as well as supporting forest fire fighting efforts in the Interior,” said Deputy Mayor Rosalie Sawrie. “Their ability to act quickly, despite being on-call, is remarkable, and there are not enough “thank yous” when it comes to their heroic efforts at keeping the fires from spreading and causing further devastation.”

Being prepared for a wildfire includes preparing yourself, your family, your pets, and your property. Having a family communication plan, grab-and-go bags, and knowing evacuation routes are just a few of the ways to get prepared. Moving fuel sources like firewood and lawn furniture away from your house, trimming branches near your roof, and cutting your lawn shorter are just a few quick things you can do at home that may save your property. To learn more, visit the FireSmart BC website at www.firesmartbc.ca.

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Media Contact:         
Jason deJong
Assistant Fire Chief
Municipality of North Cowichan
T: 250-746-3276
E: jason.deJong@northcowichan.ca