Oak Bay Fire Department reports hearing a heightened level of anxiety around wildfire from residents and is incorporating additional related information in its block party presentations.
While an ember can self-extinguish if it lands on green leafy plants, it will easily ignite tall, dried grasses or oily shrubs like gorse, junipers and cedars.
What may seem like small actions, such as clearing wood debris from around a home, mowing, or pruning lower branches, can determine whether your home survives a fire storm, a department release stated. Cleaning needles from gutters, watering garden plants and moving combustibles away from the home can all have a big impact.
“One weekend of yard chores is enough to greatly improve your fire safety,” advised the department. “Since the summer is shaping up to be dryer than average, it is important for everyone to take the time to assess their properties for fire hazards and mitigate these hazards where possible.”
With the devastation in Lytton, the recent heatwave and two structure fires Oak Bay, there is a heightened level of concern surrounding fire risk.
Uplands Park has grass throughout that becomes very dry with the summer heat. However, there is a limited number of coniferous trees within the park and as a result, fires tend to be of low intensity and relatively slow growth.
“There is always the chance of high winds increasing fire growth and spread, however, we have significant fire suppression resources at our disposal to combat any fire that may occur, including the resources of our bordering mutual aid partners in Saanich and Victoria.”
In Oak Bay, they’ve taken steps to manage wildfire risk.
For example, Uplands Park is monitored for dryness on a regular basis, fire danger signs are posted and the park has two hydrants, with more on the perimeter of the park. Crews are familiar with the fire access points, hydrants and trails, with detailed firefighting maps aboard all apparatus. Parks staff mow access lanes for fire vehicle access.
This year, Oak Bay added fire danger signs on Cedar Hill Cross Road to highlight the risk for anyone travelling on the high volume road.
Anyone with questions or concerns can call Oak Bay Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division 250-592-9121.
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