FireSmart finish up
In our previous post we showed you how a group of volunteers could help to reduce significant fuel load with chipping. This accumulation had some wood and debris that was beyond chippable so the group decided to return and with do a controlled burn to remove the last of the fuel load, which was still significant and piled underneath hydro lines. Many hands make light work and 2 controlled burn areas were used. Homeowners rewarded volunteers with a BBQ and treats. #FireSmart #IAmFireSmart
The Piers Island FireSmart board and the local FireSmart representative will be working to foster more of this type of volunteerism/homeowner partnership for FireSmart work in 2023.
This was our third FireSmart event this year and we wanted to get our hands dirty this time! We asked volunteers to gather at a property and we conducted an assessment together using the FireSmart Begins at Home App
The app is easy to use and gives you suggestions where you could use some improvement. It is also available in an Android version.
We tackled fuel load reduction and brought in a chipper to deal with as much of the debris as we could. This pile had been accumulating for many, many years and we will return to burn the rest when conditions are safe.
We identified a high risk problem and worked together to improve the situation. We all realized that there are many locations where a FireSmart work party can help out an overwhelmed homeowner. We'll be working on a new program - Host a FireSmart Event!
After a great morning workout, we moved to the firehall for Piers Island Emergency Program's presentations on Grab and Go bags, water purification as well as updated Emergency contact information for residents. They held a fabulous prize draw afterward and the winners were Grab and Go Bags - Pauline O. and John Dick (Eckman family); Power banks - Rick S., Melissa (Siska family) and Monique J.; Crank radios - Chany (de Jong family), Derek M.; Vehicle kit - Jeff N. We all enjoyed pizza from 900 Degrees Bistro hosted by PIVFD.
This week is Emergency Preparedness Week and Saturday May 7th kicks off FireSmart's Wildfire Preparedness Day. Happily, we bring these two very important initiatives together on one day.
Piers Island Emergency Program will have their representatives ready at 10 am at the Firehall to assist you with getting set on the PANS program to receive emergency alerts. They are also kindly providing coffee and treats. They will confirm that you are signed up for the local emergency alert system. Prizes from the week long Preparedness Contest will be awarded after the FireSmart presentation.
At 10:30 am we begin our FireSmart Landscaping Presentation. FireSmart BC has developed a new Landscaping Guide for BC. Piers Island's Brent Schorr has played a major role in consulting on this project with them. Brent will share his presentation with us and we have these new booklets for distribution.
We've been saving up for this special event and have wonderful prizes for those in attendance so be sure to come out. FireSmart Canada has also contributed $500 towards our event. We've got a Grand Prize of a $500 Gift Certificate at Peninsula Landscaping, a WORX rechargeable pruner/chainsaw and we'll have lots of native plants (FireSmart ones of course) from Russell Nursery to give out during the presentation. You must be in attendance to win!
Thank you for your FireSmart efforts all year round and we look forward to seeing you Saturday May 7th - 10 AM at the new Fire Hall. Distancing may not be possible so please bring your mask.
Your FireSmart Board
Chief Steve Cruise
And here's how it all came together!
FireSmart Mowers & Resiliency
Our first event for 2022 was held on April 9th and was mask free! Woohoo! What a wonderful feeling to gather in person and share information. Your community might be like ours in that we have a lot of community lands and we do not have a government entity to take care of those lands. We need to do it ourselves through volunteer labour. We focused on mowing and efforts we need to be making to keep those shared lands mowed by expanding our volunteer pool. The PIVFD also had a chance to show off our wildfire resiliency equipment and explain the benefits of dock pumps and roof style sprinkler protection.
Our small island has about 130 properties and 43 people attended the event. :)
Keep checking back, we have a new FireSmart Event coming up in May showcasing our FireSmart Landscaping expertise on Piers. We have 2 Master Gardeners on Piers Island - Brent Schorr who consulted on the new BC FireSmart Landscaping Guide and Vicki Morrison who works at Russell Nursery nearby in North Saanich. Vicki keeps herself up to date on the best FireSmart plants for your properties.
#IAmFireSmart #FireSmartBC #PiersIsland
During the height of COVID, several parents decided to home school their children on Piers with the assistance of one amazing professional teacher Christina van der Kamp. Christina came to our Local FireSmart Representatives and asked if there was a way we could incorporate some FireSmart teaching into a portion of the schooling for the kids. Low and behold we found an amazing program and teaching tools put together by BC FireSmart, Lesser Slave Lake Education Society and Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory. Download Here
The link will give you the course material but there is also a kit available for purchase or check for a loan from a fire base near you. We were able to borrow one from Cobble Hill Fire Base and extended our teachings over a three week period. It's a wonderful kit, the kids had fun and learned a lot. Their parents were quick to tell us that their children's learnings were taken home and shared! :)
Fire Extinguishers for All
A recent campaign launched by Captain John Hall of PIVFD saw a bulk order and purchase of 50 fire extinguishers by Piers Island homeowners. Extinguishers at the ready on boats, golf carts and homes will help quickly stop the threat of fire if extinguished in the early stage. Still call 911 - but we've now got 50 more extinguishers ready to be used on Piers. As an added bonus, we gave out stickers to put on golf carts to let people know there was one on board and available! Piers delivery is always a little more difficult...car, boat, golf cart...
Thanks to John Hall, Terry Swan and Kerry Keats for getting it done.
Determined to go ahead with our Wildfire Preparedness Day despite COVID-19, we carefully prepared! Our theme and lure for our volunteers...PPE - Pizza, Pop and Eclairs!
We encouraged family groups to sign up, it was an RSVP required event so that we could plan for distancing and social bubbles. With 24 volunteers, it was a smashing success and the results were incredible.
This year we focused on removing dead fall from along our island trails. The teams were fantastic and so much debris was removed and chipped. Everyone involved saw the huge benefit of increasing our safe zones in the forest in the event of a wildfire. We also saw how much work is left to be done and everyone is game for more work when restrictions ease off.
#IAMFireSmart #FireSmartBC #FireSmartCanada #PiersIsland
As you are raking up all those fall leaves, rather than burning, why not add them to a lasagna garden! By doing it now, you'll have a great new garden bed or amended bed for spring planting and you'll be helping to #FireSmart your yard by keeping on top of dry leaves. It's also a good time to get those gutters cleaned out too.
We found this short little video on how to make a lasagna garden.
#IAMFireSmart #lasagnegardening #leafmulch #goodgardening #compost #FireSmartBC
We wanted to share this great little video from FireSmartBC. As summer is wrapping up and cooler temperatures arrive, those leaves will start falling. Fire ratings are still high to extreme in many places, so make sure to keep the deadfall away from your home. Enjoy the video! #IAMFIRESMART
Island Wide Chimney Clean
Kudos to Grant Warrington who singlehandedly contacted, arranged and took to completion an Island wide offering of chimney cleaning. Grant made arrangements to have WETT certified chimney cleaner Chris Worthing of Flamesmart Heating Ltd. come to Piers Island. Over 2 days a total of 22 chimneys were cleaned and inspected. Owners paid for the services that they chose, whether it be cleaning, inspection and even gutter cleaning. Arranging a neighbourhood event with a reputable cleaner is a good way to add to the FireSmart level an area.
#IAMFireSmart #FireSmartBC #FireSmartCanada
Islanders are encourage to write in with Projects for Island Fire Safe