By integrating some basic FireSmart principles into regular farming and ranching practices, you can reduce the potential threat of a wildfire to start and limit the impact of a wildfire that threatens your property. FireSmart farming practice is all about managing vegetation.
Give yourself, your neighbours, your livestock and the firefighters a chance against wildfire by reducing dry grass and stubble to prevent a fire from escaping from your property and prevent a wildfire from coming into your yard:
Unmanaged fence lines and ditches or roadsides usually have a large accumulation of grass, weeds and brush which can act as a wick, carrying intense and quick spreading fires into your yard, fields, and building sites.
Dry barrels are a magnet for sparks and embers and are one of the first things to ignite as a wildfire approaches. No matter how you store bales, once they ignite, the fire spreads quickly and can be difficult to control or extinguish.
You can apply vegetation management strategies to any structure to reduce the threat of wildfire. If you cannot easily get into these areas to mow the grass, livestock can make a good job of cleaning up for you. Don’t forget to manage vegetation in old corrals and unused corners of your yard. Keep areas around dugouts and other water sources free of vegetation. This not only reduces the spread of wildfire but it helps provide ready access for firefighters and their equipment.
For more tips and suggestions check out the FireSmart Farm and Acreage Magazine (external link).
I am committed to contact my local Fire Department to support FireSmart activities and policies at the local municipal level.— Alan Westhaver, Community Member, Fernie, British Columbia