OPERATIONAL UPDATES

IBE FireSmart Program

 backyard bbqcampfire

Indian Beach Estates is in the process of implementing the nation wide FireSmart Canada Program to protect our safety and assist with building a fire safe, resilient community. The IBE Board has approved a committee to manage the program to champion the cause of wildfire prevention and encourage owners to share in the efforts to protect our property from fire.

The FireSmart Program has been in existence since 1999 to facilitate the promotion of awareness and education aimed at reducing the risk of loss of life and property from fire in the wildland/urban interface.

The IBE FireSmart Committee will be involved in community-based initiatives as well as providing and distributing information about wildfire prevention. The Committee currently consists of:

  • John Conley - #113
  • Hugh Simson - #126
  • Larry Strong - # 105

As an outcome of the past three fire seasons, it is evident that as a community, we need to be more proactive with our prevention and mitigation to protect people and property.

The Committee encourages all owners to become engaged and develop awareness of the program to assess their own property and share in the efforts to protect our community in the event of a wildfire. There is extensive information available on the FireSmart Canada website at www.firesmartcanada.ca.

The committee has been working in collaboration with the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), the Windermere and Invermere Fire Departments as well as the Akisqnuk First Nations. We are currently waiting on the results of a report from a contractor hired by RDEK regarding an assessment of our fire load concerns in our wildland interface area specifically on the east and south boundaries as well as some of our internal areas of concern.

Additional information regarding the program is proposed to be available at the AGM when a date is set. In the interim, the Committee encourages all owners to learn more about the program to reduce the potential impact wildfires can have on your property and our community.

In British Columbia, an average of 48% of all wildfires are caused by human activity and effective Thursday, April 16, 2020, the Ministry of Forests and Land has initiated a fire ban prohibiting most open burning activities throughout the province. The only open burning activity allowed is a campfire which is restricted to be an open fire that burns piled material no larger than 0.5 m in height and 0.5 m in width. Those in contravention of these regulations can face serious fines and penalties.

If you have any additional questions, please contact John Conley (#113) at johncharlesconley@gmail.com.

Thank you

IBE Fire Safety Message

The summer recreational season is upon us and the IBE Board of Directors want to ensure we all have a safe and enjoyable season. The Board would like to remind all owners of our commitment to protect the safety and integrity of our community. As a result of several fire incidents that have occurred in our community the past few years, the Board would like to reinforce the following fire safety regulations.

* Owners who are renting their cabins, must ensure renters have a current copy of the IBE Rules and Regulations and are compliant with these policies.

  1. Campfires

    In British Columbia, an average of 48% of all wildfires are caused by human activity and effective Thursday, April 16, 2020, the Ministry of Forests and Land has initiated a fire ban prohibiting most open burning activities throughout the province with the exclusion of campfires.

    Those in contravention of these regulations can face serious fines and penalties.

  2. Campfire definition:

    A campfire is an open fire that burns piled material no larger than 0.5 m in height and 0.5 m in width and is used for recreational purpose only. To prevent your campfire from turning in to a wildfire be sure to adhere to the following guidelines:

    • Check current campfire restrictions for your area.
    • Never have a campfire when it is windy.
    • Choose a proper fire pit or make a ring of rocks at least three (3) metres from trees, shrubs, structures and debris.
    • Do not leave a campfire unattended for any amount of time.
    • Keep a bucket of at least eight litres of water, or a hose close by the fire at all times and a hand tool (such as a shovel) to extinguish the fire properly.
    • Completely extinguish your campfire before you go to sleep or leave the area for any period.
    • To extinguish your campfire, pour plenty of water on the fire and surrounding area, dousing the site of the campfire thoroughly. Stir the campfire until there are no embers and the ashes are cold to the touch.
    • A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at http://www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs.

  3. Burning barrels are prohibited at this time.
  4. Take excess yard waste such as large branches and debris to the Columbia Valley Landfill as an alternate to burning them.
  5. Do not dispose of your hot coals and embers from a BBQ or campfire into a garbage container or the dumpster container. Hot coals and ashes may appear cool; however, they can stay hot for days after cooking is over and when they are disposed of while still hot, coals can create a fire risk for your family and the community.
  6. Keep your BBQ clean and at least 10 feet away from your house and never leave an activated BBQ unattended as food can cause flare ups and fires can double in size every minute.
  7. Summer is a good time to have your chimney cleaned and checked to ensure safe operations when professionals can access your roof and chimney safely.
  8. Fireworks are always prohibited in IBE including the beach area.
  9. Ensure your powerlines that come from the distribution line along the road to your house are clear and do not come in contact with any trees.

The Windermere Fire Department encourages all homeowners to practice proper fire safety procedures during the start up of the summer recreation season with a focus on campfire and BBQ safety. The Department emphasizes that protecting your home starts with simple actions and additional information is available on the FireSmart Canada website at firesmartcanada.ca.