On behalf of the Quail Ridge FireSmart Board, I want to add our voice and messages with respect to fire risk in our community.
We all decided to have our homes here in Quail Ridge for the benefits that the community offers. However, along with these benefits comes additional fire risks because we abut a forested area. We know that we cannot eliminate all of our fire risks. However, we can be proactive to reduce the risks to our own and neighbours' property.
We are very pleased with the cooperation and efforts by our residents and the Okanagan Golf Club (OGC) that work together to reduce the amount of fire risk materials in our community. The October 2018 and May 2019 FireSmart Cleanup Days are two recent positive examples and OGC and FireSmart are working on additional plans for this fall.
Stay tuned! Several Quail Ridge residents have asked how they would carry out an alternative emergency exit through the lane at the end of Quail Ridge Boulevard where there is a locked gate in the event of an evacuation. While it should be noted that the lane and gate are on private property and are not to be used for people taking walks, in the event of an emergency evacuation, the Kelowna Fire Department would forcibly remove the lock. Kelowna Fire is also pursuing the possibility of installing an emergency lock box for the gate. This emergency keyed system for the lock would then allow them immediate access to the area as well as providing an alternative exit route for residents if an emergency evacuation was declared.
The current forecast for the summer is above normal temperatures coupled with low rainfall increasing the fire risk for all of us. So what proactive actions can we all take now? Some Suggestions:
- review all of the information on www.cordemergency.ca - this site provides current information on current state of emergencies. Be knowledgeable by signing up for emails from the site. As well, access FireSmart though this site for good, practical information on how to reduce your risk.
- Take advantage of the yard waste pick up every two weeks from the City's green bin program. This action eliminates fire risk material from your property or area. We would like to see them full of materials for each pickup.
- Consider a fire risk assessment of your property by calling the Kelowna Fire Department at 250.469.8801. This service provides both an assessment and practical ideas on how to reduce your property risk from fire.
- Please do not place your materials onto any other property including the Golf Course because this does nothing to reduce the community risk. As a matter of fact, doing so increases the fire risk in our community!
- Be prepared. There is good information on many sites that provides information for all of us to be prepared for an emergency. A good example is www.cordemergency.ca “How to build a Household Emergency Kit and Grab-and-go-bag.”
- The Quail Flume and Eagle View Linear trails flume will remain open unless otherwise communicated by the City. We can all help the fire department to be the “eyes” for this area.
- See a wild fire? Remember: cell *5555 or 1-800-663-5555.
Help us by discussing our concerns and suggestions with your neighbours as some may not be members of the QRRA. We use the communication system of QRRA to get our messages out to the community. Please, be safe and let us all be proactive.
Glen Maddess, Chair
Quail Ridge FireSmart