Stellar Place is Castlegar’s first neighbourhood to become nationally recognized as FireSmart by FireSmart Canada.

They join a group of over 100 neighbourhoods across British Columbia that are recognized for their efforts in creating neighbourhoods that are more resilient against wildfire.

“This is a huge achievement and one that the FireSmart committee at Stellar place should be proud of,” Garrett Fishlock, Regional District of Central Kootenay FireSmart program co-ordinator said in a news release.

“Over the last two years, Stellar Place built a solid foundation for a successful FireSmart program for years to come.”

Stellar Place’s FireSmart plans revolve around four key principles:

  • community education
  • emergency preparedness
  • reducing highly combustible vegetation near homes
  • long-term plans to replace exterior flammable building materials with non-combustible options as they are replaced

“As a resident of Stellar Place whose husband resides in Castleview Care Centre, the terror we felt when we learned the Merry Creek wildfire was so close to our city and our loved ones made us all realize the necessity of doing whatever we can to make our homes and our neighbourhoods safer from the imminent dangers of wildfire,” said Rhonda Sorenson, who was on the FireSmart committee.

Lindmar Strata and Sandalwood Court are two more neighbourhoods in Castlegar that have been working hard this year and both will be applying for FireSmart recognition this fall, according to a news release from the City of Castlegar.

Fire smarting neighbourhoods and homes gradually builds a community that can withstand a wildfire and is more important now than ever. Castlegar residents had many reminders about the dangers of wildfire with the 2018 Syringa and 2021 Merry Creek wildfires.

“We are so proud of Stellar Place for their hard work, commitment to helping keep our community safe from wildfires, and work that aligns with the city’s wildfire protection plan,” says Castlegar fire chief Sam Lattanzio.

“We encourage everyone in the community to think about actions they can take to protect their homes, neighbourhoods, and the Castlegar community.”