The Regional District of East Kootenay is asking residents to take time on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 1st to consider ways they can protect themselves and their properties from the risk of wildfire.

“Whether you live in a municipality or in a rural area, there are a variety of actions each of us can take to reduce the number of wildfire hazards on our properties. From bigger actions like reducing fuel sources around your residence, to small ones like clearing eaves of dead, dry leaves and debris, there are numerous options to explore,” said Terry Balan, RDEK Wildfire Resilience Supervisor.

Since no formal community-wide event is planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public is asked to encourage wildfire preparedness at home.

“It would be great to see people taking actions at home to remove potential hazards, create a plan for themselves and their families, or make a plan for steps they can take over the coming weeks to help protect their properties and be wildfire-ready,” said Balan.

The RDEK said it will soon embark on an education campaign to support and encourage residents and communities in becoming FireSmart.

“While May 1st is officially Community Preparedness Day, we know the importance of wildfire preparedness all year round. Our goal is to support residents and communities in reducing the wildfire risks around their homes and properties, making us all collectively more resilient to wildfire,” explained Balan.

The FireSmart campaign is expected to launch in mid-May.