Getting Ready for Spring – FireSmart Style!

You’ve seen articles in the paper, maybe you’ve seen a tent at an event, quite possibly you’ve been invited to ‘Like’ FireSmart Lesser Slave Region on Facebook? These things are happening so you can be informed and involved in FireSmart activities in the year ahead.

The most recent event where you would have seen FireSmart was the Frost Fest’s Fur Trading Frenzy, hosted at the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation (BCBC) on Feb 10, 2018. It was a snowy day, but for those who braved the weather and road conditions, there was a bannock treat for them at the FireSmart campfire and a hot chocolate or hot apple cider to sip upon. There were many new faces who came out for some frosty fun, lots of little kids with moms and dads, it was great to see you and meet you all.

Each spring, you’re probably doing more FireSmart activities than you realized. It’s as easy as picking up leaf litter and tree debris from around your home and other buildings and taking it away from the yard. Cleaning out debris from eaves troughs and from under your deck is a step towards protecting your home from ember and spark transfer in the event of a wildfire. Keeping grass short and green reduces the likelihood a wildfire can move through the grass towards your home. A relatively inexpensive measure is to enclose your deck so embers and sparks can’t find a place to rest underneath the deck in the event of a wildfire.

According to the groundhog, there’s six more weeks of winter, but you may have already started planning and saving for your summertime projects. Are you remodeling or refreshing your home’s exterior this year? Maybe it’s time to re-shingle your roof? Being FireSmart is being thoughtful and astute about the materials used to build and cover your home. Check out www.livefiresmart.ca or www.firesmartcanada.ca for more information on FireSmart building materials or to access your own home assessment checklist.

Yes, it’s still a cold, frozen winter and to keep yourself warm, maybe you’re daydreaming about dressing up the yard with a few new plants when the weather warms up? Leafy plant material should be the type closest to your home and make sure to put needled type trees or shrubs 10 meters away from the house. Whether new or established, water those plants close to the house – humidity changes the way fire behaves!

Once that warmer weather arrives, protect yourself, your family, your property and your neighbourhood and be prepared for the coming fire season. Review ways to stay Firesmart, ‘Like’ us on Facebook and check out our website: www.livefiresmart.ca. And remember, fire season starts as early as March 1. You can find regular updates on wildfire status and fire bans by visiting www.wildfire.alberta.ca.

February 2018 Lakeside Leader Article

Photo courtesy Christie’s Gardens & Greenhouses Ltd
These pansies are being grown for Firesmart LSR and will be given away at the Outdoor Adventure Trade Show at the Multi Rec Centre in Slave Lake on May 4 & 5, 2018!