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Castlegar housing developments receive FireSmart status

Two more Castlegar housing developments have been officially recognized as FireSmart.

Sandalwood Court and Lindmar Estates join Stellar Place as the second and third neighbourhoods in Castlegar and a group of over 100 neighbourhoods across B.C recognized for their efforts in creating neighbourhoods that are more resilient against wildfire.

“These groups worked so hard for this recognition and they should be very proud,” Garrett Fishlock, Regional District of Central Kootenay FireSmart program coordinator, said in a news release.

“Both Sandalwood Court and Lindmar Estates committed to FireSmarting, received neighbourhood assessments, and put their planning into action, reducing their risk of wildfire while maintaining beautiful landscaping and wildland living aesthetics.”

Fishlock says the FireSmart Canada Neighbourhood Recognition Program can be adopted by any neighbourhood. It starts with a small group of residents who have an interest in FireSmart and want to learn what they can do to help protect their neighbourhood from wildfire.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay provides FireSmart services to Castlegar residents on behalf of the city, including a local wildfire mitigation specialist who conducts a neighbourhood assessment and creates a detailed report for the FireSmart committee.

If the committee decides to create a plan and move forward with recommended actions, they are eligible to apply for FireSmart Canada recognition. Annual $500 grants are available through FireSmart BC to support volunteer committees seeking FireSmart recognition.

“It is great to see two more Castlegar neighbourhoods proactively working hard to keep our community safe from wildfires after seeing the dangers of wildfire with the 2018 Syringa and 2021 Merry Creek wildfires,” says Castlegar fire chief Sam Lattanzio.

“FireSmarting neighbourhoods helps to build a resilient community that can withstand a wildfire which is more important now than ever.”

Fishlock said a group in Ootischenia is now in the planning stage, along with others across the RDCK.

Lindmar FireSmart committee. Pictured from left: RDCK wildfire mitigation specialist Greg Barnhouse, Kathy Underwood, deputy fire chief Nick Ahlefeld, Jonathan Underwood, Olga Cheveldave, Joe Cheveldave, mayor Kirk Duff, Nadeen Elasoff, Bill Elasoff, fire chief Sam Lattanzio. (Submitted by RDCK)
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