Wildfire safety tips for homeowners

Staff from the Insurance Bureau of Canada provided some wildfire safety and prevention tips for homeowners who might live near areas that are susceptible to wildfires.

“The best thing we can all do is really make sure that we’re paying attention to the Fire Danger rating and checking, you know, our local government or provincial government websites to understand any kind of alerts or evacuation orders we may be facing. Over the longer term really important to have a family plan of what to do if you are evacuated due to a wildfire. Making sure you have a plan in place for you and your family to be out of your home for at least three days, if not longer. When we think about our property, lots of things we can do to make sure that’s well maintained. Make sure we’re not including any dry yard trimmings up near our homes where they can become quick combustible. Same thing for our gutters. And also just making sure that any trees or shrubs that we have around our properties are well maintained, well groomed and aren’t giving any kind of opportunity for sparks or other materials to get in there and create a real challenge for our home itself,” says Aaron Sutherland, the Vice President of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

According to the organization, 2022 was the third worst year in terms of insured damage across our country due to severe weather events like wildfires. Officials say they are seeing claims totaling close to $2 billion.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for many communities in northern Alberta including Fort Chipewyan and parts of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation.

In total, just over 43 hundred Albertans are still away from their homes.

Fortunately there has been some much needed rain up north which has been helping the firefighters battle the 64 active wildfires.

Eighteen are classified as out of control, 20 are being held and 26 are under control.

There are 2800 personnel battling the blazes including recent reinforcements from South Africa.

Meanwhile in Nova Scotia, government officials there are offering residents forced out of their homes by forest fires free well-water testing kits as thousands are allowed back home.

Tests are necessary because the groundwater may be contaminated by residue from the fire, chemical fire retardants and fuel from ruptured tanks.

The Barrington Lake wildfire is the only fire in the province that is still out of control but it is not growing.

The Roseway Hospital in nearby Shelburne was expected to re-open today.  

Micah Quinn

After graduating from Mount Royal University in Calgary with a Broadcasting Diploma, Micah made the trek down to Lethbridge to work for Bridge City News. He has previously worked at City TV Calgary on the Breakfast Television morning show. He looks forward to connecting with this community, and reaching a new audience. Micah has a passion for interviewing and finding out why people think the way they do. You’ll often find him pursuing local feature stories and hard news.

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