Damaged property near Killiney Beach property on Aug. 24, 2021. One of the Westside Road areas impacted by the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

Damaged property near Killiney Beach property on Aug. 24, 2021. One of the Westside Road areas impacted by the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

Free wood program removal from City of Kelowna this spring

The program will be provided to select neighbourhoods this spring

A new initiative from the city aims to help homeowners reduce the risk of wildfire impacts on their property.

The Kelowna FireSmartTM Community Chipping pilot program will offer free removal and chipping of cedar, juniper, mugo pine, fir, pine, and spruce branches.

“This is the time of year to take the actions that will make a real difference,” says Tara Bergeson, urban forester, City of Kelowna. “It is critical to learn about your home’s level of risk and think ahead to the potential dangers of wildfire season.”

Bergeson added that removing vegetation from properties that is hazardous when it comes to wildfire spread is a key step, especially within ten metres of a home.

“This protects you, your family, and your neighbourhood,” she said.

Read More: District of Central Okanagan receives grant for fire mitigation

The program will be provided to select neighbourhoods this spring that have an abundance of these materials including Dilworth, Magic Estates, McKinley, Quail Ridge, Gallagher’s area, Mission Ridge, and parts of Kettle Valley and Black Mountain. Residents in those areas can remove these materials from around their homes and pile them curbside for pick up according to a schedule on the City of Kelowna website.

Every week between April 19 and July 15, a city-contracted truck equipped with a woodchipper will pick up these materials. Debris will not be picked up if it contains broadleaf (deciduous) trees, roots, dirt, rocks, gravel, grasses, or other non-organic materials.

While this program addresses specific residential areas, the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s agricultural chipping program and the mow/chip/rent-it rebate is available to help residents, farmers, and orchardists chip wood waste.

As well, printed copies of the BC FireSmartTM Homeowner’s Guide are available at the City of Kelowna Parks Administration Office.


@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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bc wildfiresCity of KelownaHomeownersKelownaWildfires