From left, Salmon Am firefighter Chris Scarborough, Eagle Bay Fire Department Captain Michelle Beaudry and Salmon Arm firefighter Chris Hagglov provide FireSmart information outside the Mall at Piccadilly on Saturday, May 1 as part of a collaborative effort between the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and Salmon Arm to prevent the spread of wildfires to populated areas. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

From left, Salmon Am firefighter Chris Scarborough, Eagle Bay Fire Department Captain Michelle Beaudry and Salmon Arm firefighter Chris Hagglov provide FireSmart information outside the Mall at Piccadilly on Saturday, May 1 as part of a collaborative effort between the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and Salmon Arm to prevent the spread of wildfires to populated areas. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Fire Department takes a walk on the wildfire side

Firefighters to receive FireSmart education, training to help residents better protect property

Regional firefighters were doing their part on May 1 to reduce the impact of wildfires on people’s homes.

Three firefighters, Captain Michelle Beaudry from the Eagle Bay Fire Department as well as Chris Scarborough and Chris Hagglov from Salmon Arm, were staffing a booth outside the Mall at Piccadilly on Saturday. (Other firefighters had a booth outside the Uptown Askew’s.)

They were equipped with information, booklets on FireSmarting homes and landscaping, plus a calendar for booking FireSmart assessments.

In April, Salmon Arm Fire Chief Brad Shirley told council that in the previous few years, Silvatech Consulting has been managing the city’s and Neskonlith band’s portions of the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) grant funding received by the Province of B.C.

This year, under the 2021 CRI application, it was envisioned that the Salmon Arm Fire Department would manage the FireSmart education part of the budget and, in part, use and compensate the paid on-call firefighters to provide FireSmart training at booths and public engagement sessions.

The fire department has also been working with other communities, specifically the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the District of Sicamous, on regional FireSmart activities and advertising partnerships.

Salmon Arm council approved the plan which included a $20,000 portion of the overall $150,000 grant going towards education. The remaining $130,000 will be used for treatments reducing the wildfire hazard in the area.

Both Coun. Tim Lavery, who has been city council’s liaison on all-things FireSmart, and Mayor Alan Harrison expressed their appreciation for Shirley’s contributions in the collaboration and communication that has been taking place between the various fire departments.

Read more: VIDEO: Burning hedge between Salmon Arm homes gives cause to FireSmart efforts

Read more: What can you do to protect your property from wildfires?


martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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