Wildfires are a concern in the area, but Nelson’s Fire Chief says the embers are more likely to destroy a home than the actual fire. Embers can travel up to two kilometers in distance, which is why Chief Len McCharles says it’s important to fire smart your property no matter where you live.

“If your home has these juniper bushes or cedars or dry grasses or something up against your home, those bushes and grasses can catch on fire resulting from an ember and burn your home to the ground as well.”

He says removing anything that can ignite during an ember storm is very important, including decorative junipers and cedars and replacing them with more more fire-resistant plants. He also suggests removing all debris piles and other combustible materials near your home, including stored fire wood, which should be at least 10 meters away, ideally. Cleaning dry debris from your eaves troughs will also help, as well as trimming higher up tree branches.

To get rid of yard waste he suggests going to the Groham Narrows Transfer Station, which will be waving the fees for the month of May, thanks to the Regional District of Central Kootenay. There will also be an extended burning period from Friday April 12 to May 20 inclusive, however licenses are required from Nelson and Fire Rescue Services at a cost of $10.

This extended burn period is for the purpose of reducing non-compostable woody debris, which is clean, dry, unstained/ untreated wood resulting from residential yard clean up. This does not include the burning of vegetative matter that can be easily composted such as leaves, grass clippings, vegetable stalks or similar.

Permits must be acquired in person, at Nelson Fire & Rescue Services. Those burning must provide proof of fire insurance for the property where the burning will take place.

For more information on how to become fire smart, click here. Personnel from the City of Nelson and Regional District are available to come to your and provide a fire smart assessment.