Students show how FireSmart program can save homes.
“You can see where they’ve trimmed the branches on the tree, they’ve gone quite high here” said Nanaimo Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Brad Wood.
He was highlighting the work done by Forestry Students at Vancouver Island University as they cleared brush around a cabin on campus.
Initially it can be a lot of work but clearing combustibles around the structure and removing low hanging branches on nearby trees can save your home or business during fire season.
“Normally these branches would be hanging down on to the forest floor here so in the event of a fire that fire would come up, get into these branches, go straight up into the tree canopy and continue on” added Wood.
And continue on to your roof top which is a good place to start your clean up.
“A lot of people I think around here love having the trees close to their home but it does have a lot of droppings, needles, litter and all that and that can be an issue, it can really get a fire going” Forestry student Hannah Vander Meer told CHEK News.
The Forestry students are taking advantage of provincial funding through a program called FireSmart to make a 10 metre fire barrier around the building.
“We have a heritage cabin here on site that we want to try to protect from fires. Last summer there were fires in the area, wildfires, so it’s an opportunity for the students to practice fire smart” said VIU instructor Pat Hayes.
And with the dry, summer-like weather already here, and wildfires already burning in the interior the Nanaimo Fire Department is hoping property owners will do the same to protect their buildings.
“What it is is called Priority One Zone which is a 10 metre circumference around the building itself so any old wooded debris, tall grass, cut that down low and what this does it slow down the fire” said Wood.
He says it could slow the spread of fire enough allowing firefighters time to arrive to put it out.