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Christina Lake sprinkler program helps residents prepare for wildfire

RDKB Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor hopes to lead by example. She participated in the Christina Lake Fire Rescue sprinkler program and installed a WASP gutter-mounted sprinkler system on her own home Christina Lake. — Submitted

Christina Lake Fire Rescue is helping Christina Lake residents protect their homes and prepare for wildfire through an innovative sprinkler program.  

For a $200 investment, homeowners can have fire personnel install and test the WASP sprinkler, a gutter-mounted sprinkler system designed to fit any house.

Firefighters also provide advice to homeowners on how to apply FireSmart principles to their property and help residents sign up for the RDKB’s emergency notification system.

“Our approach with this program is, ‘Help us help you,’” said Christina Lake Fire Rescue Chief Joe Geary.

“The outreach is excellent training for our firefighters and enables them to connect with and educate residents about wildfire and how to prevent it and prepare for it.”

Since the program was initiated in 2020, Christina Lake Fire Rescue has installed 105 sets of sprinklers on 64 homes in the community.

In addition to protecting individual homes, the sprinklers benefit the wider community. Each home that has its own sprinkler system is one less home that may require emergency use of a regional Structure Protection Unit (SPU) deployed as available by structural firefighters during wildland urban interface fires. The closet SPU is located at the Grand Forks Fire Department.

“We know which properties have sprinklers in place so that we can monitor them in the event of an interface wildfire, and then we also know which homes may require deployment of an SUP sprinkler if it is available and not already deployed in another community,” says Geary.

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor was keen to have one of the sprinkler units installed on her home and encourages her constituents to do the same.

“As a homeowner, community member and elected representative for Christina Lake, I try to lead by example whenever I can. If we receive an evacuation order due to wildfire, we can turn on our sprinkler unit and be able to leave quickly with some small peace of mind knowing that FireSmart homes with sprinklers installed are more likely to withstand a wildfire than those without them.”

“I am so thankful to our fire department for developing this program and I think we all need to take advantage of it if we can,” said Director McGregor.

For more information on the Christina Lake Fire Rescue sprinkler program, contact Christina Lake Fire Rescue at clfdchief@rdkb.com or call 250-447-6611.

For tips on how to FireSmart your property, visit https://firesmartbc.ca/

To sign up for RDKB Emergency/Evacuation Notifications go to https://emergency.rdkb.com

Homes that observe FireSmart principles and install sprinkler systems are more likely to withstand wildfire.