In British Columbia approximately 48% of all wildfires are caused by human activity. While nearly 52% are caused by natural phenomenon, generally lightning strikes. An average of 2500 wildfires burn over 25,000 hectares of land annually.
Wild fires can spread at an astonishing rate. Crowning fires often spread at a rate of up to 5.5 Kilometres per hour and can spot as far as two kilometres ahead.
With the possibility of a forest fire gobbling up our forests at this rate, it is easy to see why people in Tumbler Ridge need to be prepared. Being prepared doesn?t guarantee that you won?t incur fire damage, but it certainly reduces the risks.
The first order of business is to make sure you are properly insured, as government disaster financial assistance is very limited. Next, be aware of what hazards exist around your home, and work to reduce those hazards. Also, be familiar with your community?s emergency plans. After the forest fires of 2003, Manitoba?s Premier Gary Filmon and a team of reviewers put together a report of their findings and recommendations. In this report Filmon states, ?Homeowners should accept their obligations, preparing to evacuate if required during an interface fire emergency. This includes knowing where the evacuation routes are.?
If you want more information on how to identify and reduce fire hazards around your home, you can take the Firesmart, Home and Site Hazard Assessment on line at www.pep.bc.ca and click on Firesmart Manual.