Creston NewsNews Area C residents invited to shape fire mitigation SHARE ON: Jensen Shields, staff Monday, Dec. 3rd, 2018 (image courtesy of Pixabay) A community meeting to discuss the Community Wildfire Protection Plan for RDCK Electoral Area C will be held on Thursday December 6th from 6:30-8:30 PM in the Ramada Conference Room. Forrest Ecologist Graham McKellar says it’s a great opportunity for residents to share their input and be informed on a number of fire mitigation procedures that would affect crown land surrounding the community. “It’s good for getting your input in on some of the forestry operations that are being planned. So, you know, cut blocks can be very controversial, putting them as close to communities as you can. The funding is only available on Crown land so we’re basically looking to girdle communities in a little buffer so that if a fire does arrive, it will be a ground fire not a crown fire because you can’t fight crown fire unless it’s from the air.” Crown land differs from crown fires, one refers to land owned by the government and the other refers to fires in the branched area atop trees. The event will host Electoral Area C director Adam Casemore and other regional fire and safety experts. Another topic for the event is the RDCK sponsored FireSmart program. McKellar says the program can help reduce fire wildfire ignition risk of a home by up to 95%. “That’s an initiative being funded by the RDCK. They send out a professional structural firefighter, usually, to your property. They’ll look things over and tell you what you can do to change your risk and during the presentation they say there’s about a 95% difference in risk.” Fuel mitigation is achieved through removal of surface, ladder, and crown fuels. When it comes to protecting a home, McKellar says something as simple as cleaning your eaves can reduce risk as most homes ignite from embers falling from the sky rather than direct flame from a nearby wildfire.