FireSmart Launches Landscaping Program in Penticton, BC Ahead of Wildfire Season

FireSmart BC has partnered with the Home Hardware Building Center in Penticton, BC to launch an in-store fire smart landscaping program.

Penticton is one of the first communities in the province to launch this program.

“Our FireSmart program is launching the plant labeling program here at Home Hardware. It launched in 2021 at Art and Knapp in Prince George and Kamloops,” said Miyoko McKeown, FireSmart Coordinator.

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FireSmart said they hope to help the community make informed choices about how to increase wildfire resilience, especially around homes.

“Given the city we live in, wildfires aren’t going away anytime soon, so we really need to learn to live with wildfires and the landscape and build our homes to be harmless against the fire,” McKeown said.

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The in-store program visually shows gardeners which plants are considered more fire resistant through a labeling system.

“When you think about the landscaping around the house, you will see this label and you can have [those plants] very close to your house and don’t worry about the embers landing on it and then igniting a bigger fire closer to your house,” McKeown said.

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Any plant without a tag means it has the potential to catch fire easily.

“Generally known as evergreens or Christmas trees, cedars are full of oils and resin that keep them green all year round. The problem with these is that they accumulate a lot of dry, dead matter,” McKeown said.

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“A whole pile of dead material is very susceptible to embers landing near houses and then igniting them.”

For gardeners who don’t shop at Home Hardware, FireSmart also offers several online tools, including a landscaping guide, to ensure you make informed gardening decisions anywhere.

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