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FireSmart home assessments to be done until end of August

PHOTO. Supplied. FireSmart is a national program adopted in communities across Canada aimed at reducing the risk of wildfire in interface zones where the urban setting meets environments prone to wildfire.

Regional Emergency Services (RES) has done more than 120 FireSmart Home assessments since launching this year’s program.

FireSmart Engagement Strategist, Serena Quinn said that assessments have been done all across the region, including Fort McKay and Anzac.

She said each assessment, which takes about 20 minutes, is unique to each home and property.

“It’s just a good opportunity to learn about what you can be doing differently and what steps you can be taking to FireSmart your home.”

One of the common things Quinn said that people don’t realize, is that having vegetation, including your lawn, up against siding can be a hazard, especially if your home has combustible siding like vinyl.

It’s recommended that you keep vegetation at least 1.5 metres from your home and deck to create a non-combustible space.

She also said that while mulch is great for plants and trees, it can become a source of ignition in dry conditions.

She noted that many people have made FireSmart decisions when picking out their plants for their landscape.

“We have seen a lot of deciduous plants in the gardens and homes and we’re so happy to see that. What we don’t want to see is evergreen species,”

Quinn explained that deciduous plants retain moisture, whereas evergreen species dry out very quickly and can ignite easily.

You can apply to have your home assessed until Aug. 31.

If you apply before Aug. 15 you will be entered to win a 60-volt lithium-powered cordless lawnmower.