More homeowners FireSmart their properties
Knowing that the best way to fight wildfire is to do the necessary work well in advance, homeowners in the new Lakeview Meadows community in Windermere decided to evaluate the landscaping around their properties. Residents of the community made a mutual goal to improve their resilience to potentially disastrous wildfires.
The Lakeview Meadows FireSmart Debris Bin started in 2021 as a pilot project. The 30-yard bin intended for the convenient disposal of flammable vegetation from properties, at first was only available in May and September for spring and fall yard clean ups. However, it quickly became clear that homeowners were working on their yards continually through fair-weather months, and the Lakeview Meadows Community Association began to provide the bin steady from May long weekend to October long weekend: six months straight. Now, the bin needed to be dumped every other week. With increased participation in the project, the community association sought grants to continue to improve their wildfire resilience.
The Community Resiliency Investment Program – Columbia Basin Wildfire Resiliency Initiative is a partnership between the Province of BC and Columbia Basin Trust, developed with BC Wildfire Service, which provided a grant to Lakeview Meadows to prepare for and reduce the chances a wildfire will occur, spread and cause damage to their community.
Lakeview Meadows is in the Wildland Urban Interface in Risk Class 1, which is the highest relative risk on the scale. The community of 292 homes is surrounded by Douglas Fir trees, juniper understory and steep slopes. Providing the FireSmart Debris Bin was seen as a simple way to remove a barrier for homeowners to complete FireSmart yard clean-up and maintenance. The debris bin has had a successful 2023, easily exceeding the new goal of 15 bins filled and emptied of wildfire hazards.
“The response to the Lakeview Meadows FireSmart Debris Bin has been overwhelming. Owners appreciate it’s conveniently available for six months to make their properties more resilient to wildfire,” said Mara King, Lakeview Meadows Community Association FireSmart Champion. “Whether it’s removing flammable junipers, limbing trees, replacing bark mulch with gravel, cutting grass, cleaning gutters or moving firewood away from the house, it all makes a difference. I commend the progress our community has made with the FireSmart program.”
After being surrounded by terrifying wildfires through the summer of 2023, residents are inspired to step up and put in the work to improve community safety. Discussions continue: “What can we do next? What can we do better?” and community safety continues to be enhanced in Lakeview Meadows.
Learn more about what you can do to protect your home and community at firesmartbc.ca/.