Letter from the Fire Chief: Wildfire Risk in Delta
Jul 18, 2018
Many of us have witnessed the wildfire devastation that has occurred across British Columbia and Alberta over the past few years. As wildfires grow in scale and duration, they will continue to impact communities, families and livelihoods. We know that the City of Delta is not immune to wildfire – the 2016 Burns Bog Fire was a stark reminder of the wildfire risk that exists within our city. As your Fire Chief, I believe it is important to ensure that the public is aware of this risk and given the necessary information needed to take action.
You are receiving this letter because your home is within or adjacent to one of the many naturally vegetated areas in Delta – we call such areas the wildland urban interface, or interface for short. Forested and wildland areas are highly desirable places to live. But what makes them so attractive, can also make them hazardous. While vegetation is an amenity for residents, it can also be a source of fuel for an interface fire.
As we prepare for the hot, dry summer weather, we encourage you to protect your home from an interface wildfire by ensuring that your yard is free of dry grass clippings, fallen branches, compost heaps, and needles that could easily ignite. All of this yard material should be put out to the curb for removal and not dumped into ravines or forests where it contributes to the build-up of fuel for forest fires. I have enclosed with this letter a FireSmart Homeowner’s Manual, developed by the Provincial government, which identifies additional measures that you can take to protect your home from an interface wildfire.
While you work to protect your home, the City of Delta is also working diligently to ensure that our community is safe and well protected from the threat of future wildfires. The Delta Fire Department is currently updating Delta’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This plan defines the wildfire threat risk across the city, identifies measures necessary to reduce these risks, and outlines a plan of action to implement these measures. We anticipate that the findings from this study will be available on Delta’s website in the Fall of 2018.
Keeping Delta safe from wildfires is in our mutual interest – together, we can work to reduce the community’s risk of wildfire. Should you have any questions about Delta’s wildland urban interface areas or need more information about Fire Smart protection measures that you can implement at home, please do not hesitate to contact the Delta Fire Department Fire Protection Services Office at 604-946-8541.
Download a copy of the letter.
Resource: The Home Owner's FireSmart Manual