Shawn Taylor A view of the Gustafsen fire on July 7 from outside 100 Mile House.

10 ways to protect your home against wildfires

Restoration company recommends ways to protect your property and create an evacuation plan

Saturday marks a year since the Gustafsen wildfire broke out near 100 Mile House.

The massive fire, which at its peak reached 5,000 hectares, destroyed homes around the region and kicked off the worst wildfire season in B.C.’s history.

FIRE FIGHT: 2017 Wildfires from Ashcroft to Lac la Hache

With this wildfire season ramping up, FirstOnSite Restoration, a Canadian natural disaster restoration company, says you can take action to make sure your home survives a wildfire.

  • Create a 10-metre defensible space around your property free of trees, leaves and twigs
  • Make your roof fire-resistant and clear away gutter debris
  • Keep embers out by using screening vents with wire mesh, protecting eaves with soffits and fascia made from fire-resistant materials
  • Remove close-by coniferous trees, which are much more flammable than deciduous trees
  • Prune your trees. For coniferous trees, remove branches within two metres of the ground
  • Keep your lawn mowed to shorter than 10 centimetres and water it if you don’t have restrictions
  • Create a “bug-out” bag and an action/evacuation plan that includes a fire extinguisher, bottled water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, survival blanket, two-way radios, cell phone charger, and important documents
  • Pre-plan your evacuation routes
  • Find a “fire-resistant zone” near your home such as a tilled field or large paved area, free of vegetation
  • Work with your neighbours because if a nearby property ignites, your property is under threat
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage and your policy is up to date

READ MORE: 108 fire chief reflects on Gustafsen fire


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