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MLA encouraging FireSmart behaviour after devastating wildfire season

The worst fire season in B.C.’s history is winding down, but the local MLA says communities need to be prepared for the future.

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitla said the fires in the region may be getting under control, but they won’t be completely out for some time.

“Those fires will continue to smoulder and burn, probably through the winter,” he said.

“As many of you know, the fire is not just on the surface, it’s underneath, it’s in the root system and those things can flare up at any time.”

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Shypitka explains some of the FireSmart work that’s been done in the area.

“Reducing fuel load by prescribed burning, we’ve seen some of the efforts up in the community forest and around the city of Cranbrook,” he said.

“We have to be very diligent and definitely relay to our communities that we need to be FireSmart and take part in that program. There is funding available to take part in being a FireSmart community.”

Individuals can also do their part by making sure their properties are up to FireSmart standards.

An online guide can be found here.

“I want to put up a big high-five to the community of Grasmere and Newgate who were the first communities in B.C. I believe, to complete the FireSmart program.”

This year 2192 fires burned over 2,468,839 hectares, the most in the province’s history.


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