A Shuswap community worked together to protect their community from future wildfires.
Silver Creek firefighter and FireSmart representative Chris Ross organized a community cleanup for last Saturday, Nov. 13, at the trailer park at Hornsberger Road in Silver Creek.
Ross said every property in the park recently underwent a FireSmart assessment and the cleanup was part of the community’s drive to become the first “FireSmart Neighbourhood” in Silver Creek. FireSmart Neighbourhoods can receive signage and access to funds each year to stay FireSmart.
“The FireSmart event was a rousing success,” said Ross on Nov. 14. “We had six firefighters from the Silver Creek Fire Department as well as seven members of the community turn out…”
He said they deployed four chainsaws, one pole saw and two trucks which were in rotation from where they were working, clearing brush and deadfall and taking it to a bonfire area monitored by firefighters.
“We were able to clear an amazing amount of fuel from the forest floor which could have easily ignited and spread to homes in the event of a wildfire,” said Ross.
The power pole saw was used to remove branches from trees that’d grown too close to homes in the community, reducing potential for ground fires to spread and ignite large trees.
Ross said he could not have done the community clean up without the efforts of park manager Aaron Clark and fellow Silver Creek firefighter Jonathan Parmenter.
“Some other benefits brought up by the residents is that they now have a solid start to doing more of this work on their own while in the past, one person could work on clearing deadfall for many hours without making a noticeable change,” he said. “Another elderly resident told us that she now felt safer having the sight lines in the forest as she could sometimes hear movement in the forest, but could not see if there was an intruder in her backyard or just forest denizens going about their business.”
For more information on the FireSmart program or to request a FireSmart evaluation please visit: firesmartbc.ca or www.csrd.bc.ca/firesmart. Questions regarding the FireSmart program can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.