This pre-COVID photo shows Rossland residents clearing the yard of potential combustible debris. Rossland’s FireSmart advisor is encouraging residents to clean up their yards and remove potential wildfire hazards. Photo: Submitted

This pre-COVID photo shows Rossland residents clearing the yard of potential combustible debris. Rossland’s FireSmart advisor is encouraging residents to clean up their yards and remove potential wildfire hazards. Photo: Submitted

Rossland FireSmart holds wildfire hazard clean-up day

Rossland’s FireSmart advisor encourages residents to fire-proof their yards this weekend

Peace of mind is worth a lot these days, especially in a time when wildfires are a growing threat to West Kootenay communities.

To help, Rossland’s FireSmart Program is encouraging all Rossland property owners to participate in a vegetation and yard debris cleanup day on Saturday, May 8.

Homeowners are being asked to spend a few hours in their yards to reduce accumulations of vegetation and debris that can contribute to wildfire spread when fire danger climbs later in the summer.

Residents can take advantage of free curbside pickup of their branches and vegetation from the wildfire hazard cleanup by leaving it curbside on May 10 for the city to pick up.

“We’d like to get residents, especially those living on or near the forested edge of town, to take a look at those coniferous (evergreen) trees growing within 10 metres of their homes and realize what a big hazard they present,” said Don Mortimer, Rossland resident and FireSmart Program advisor.

Mortimer is very clear about Rossland’s Wildfire Hazard Cleanup Day’s primary objective.

“Nearby wildfires can send burning embers into your yard and dry grass or other vegetation will ignite and quickly spread up through the lower branches of conifers, lighting up those conifers and possibly spread right onto your house.”

The FireSmart guideline says that home owners cannot have combustibles or vegetation close to their home (within 1.5 metres) and no conifers within 10 metres.

“People can be reluctant to remove trees but they have to recognize the hazard those conifers create,” said Mortimer. “If they’re going to keep those conifers in their yards, at least prune up and remove the lower branches and reduce the chance of that coniferous tree becoming a flaring torch and igniting your house.

“As we say, ‘Branches Low – Gotta Go’.”

Another concern of Mortimer’s is combustible garden mulch, which can be a real problem if it contacts combustible siding on the house or the lower branches of coniferous trees and bushes close to a deck or home.

“The mulch burns easily and on a hot, dry day when wildfire embers land on it, the flaming mulch will spread fire to ignite the house siding, deck posts and stairs or landscape conifers, like the rockery junipers, mugo pines or cedar bushes that in turn flare up and ignite the house.”

RosslandWildfire season

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Interfor’s Castlegar mill is getting $35 million in upgrades. Photo by: John Boivin
Interfor to invest $35 million at Castlegar mill

Project will enhance productivity and competitiveness

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read