Wildfire

Valemount - On the way to becoming a FireSmart community

Janet Moje
Valemount - On the way to becoming a FireSmart community

In the last article, we covered in detail the evacuation process, showing the importance of planning and how people are involved in keeping our community safe. Many Valemount citizens support the FireSmart initiatives, but we are not yet a FireSmart community. In this article we will look at where we are now and what we still need to do.

IN PROGRESS: In a joint effort between the Village of Valemount and the Regional District of Fraser Fort George, a FireSmart assessment to establish the wildfire hazards Valemount faces is being planned this year. This assessment is a vital first step to becoming a FireSmart community as it is the basis of determining the FireSmart Community Plan.

IN PROGRESS: The FireSmart Board is being assembled but we will need more people to help. If you are interested, please contact the Valemount FireSmart coordinator at ValemountFireSmart@protonmail.com. The responsibility of the FireSmart Board is to agree on and implement the FireSmart Community Plan, schedule FireSmart events in the community, and maintain the program in the future.

FUTURE: Application for FireSmart community recognition needs to be applied for after the above has progressed further; namely the hazard assessment and community plan needs to be completed.

INITIATING: An application is being submitted to BC Wildfire Services to support a FireSmart community event for a chance to win $500 towards that event. If successful, these funds will count towards the target investment needed to be a FireSmart community.

LAUNCHED: A GoFundMe page has been set up for donations towards FireSmart events in Valemount. In order to be recognized as a FireSmart community, we need to spend $2 per capita on such events per year. With our population at 1018, it makes our target investment $2036. You can find it at www.gofundme.com/valemount-firesmart

INITIATING: We need to assemble a FireSmart crew. This crew will be responsible to assist residents with clean up of properties in step with various FireSmart events planned for the year, or for those who just need help with certain activities. If you are interested in being part of this crew, please contact the Valemount FireSmart coordinator at ValemountFireSmart@protonmail.com. Volunteer activities can count towards our target investment. First meeting will be scheduled once the snow is gone and it warms up.

NEW: BC now has their own FireSmart website at firesmartbc.ca with lots of resources about how each of us can be more FireSmart, from building, to landscaping, to preparing. Learn how to be safe!

 

Ultimately, wildfire preparedness is up to each individual, but it always makes things easier when working in a group. And as a group, we can make our community safer for all. Please consider getting involved in the FireSmart program in the way that suits you best.

To finish off this series, the next and last article will issue a FireSmart challenge to all residents, and for the competitive in our community, this could be the perfect way to get started!