Coquitlam homeowners to get wildfire education
Coquitlam Fire and Rescue will hold 3 information sessions on how to fire smart your home
If a wildfire is sparked in the forests of Coquitlam, the outcome could be ugly for the more than 1,200 properties at the forest's edge, which is why the local fire department is educating homeowners on how to reduce any potential damage.
"The risk is there, for sure," said Ron Beatty, assistant chief of fire prevention.
Beatty said the risk has gone up over the past few years as more homes are built near the forest.
"With climate change and the amount of humidity in that forest floor has changed over the years so with the hotter summers, dryer summers, it's becoming an increasing concern on the coast as well as the Interior," he said.
The department is holding the first of three information sessions on Tuesday to educate residents on what they can do to prevent the spread of flames.
- Tuesday, July 16, 6 – 9 p.m., Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex (633 Poirier St.)
- Wednesday, July 17, 6 – 9 p.m., City Centre Aquatic Complex (1210 Pinetree Way)
- Thursday, July 18, 6 – 9 p.m., Burke Mountain Firehall (3501 David Ave.)
"Things as simple as pruning trees, keeping lawns trimmed and preened when you live in that kind of an area and also choosing gravel in garden beds [rather] than bark mulch," he said.
There have been a number of wildfires in Coquitlam over the years, but none have impacted structures.
The department has invested in firefighting equipment to battle wildfires if they occur and is now asking residents to do their part.
"It's not the actual fire often that sets homes on fire, it's the embers that are coming from forest fire. If you can keep the humidity up and [use] building materials that are fire resistant, then you're going to do yourself a huge favour when the time comes."
The events are free to attend and there is no need to register.