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City of Delta taking steps to mitigate wildfire risk

As Metro Vancouver communities continue to encroach on nature, and a changing climate brings more intense wildfire seasons, local municipalities are taking steps to mitigate the risk of interface fires.

"Interface fires are where you've got a large area of forest on fire and it's threatening the community directly, whether it's structures backing onto that interface or a whole community in general," said Deputy Chief David Ayton of Delta Fire and Emergency Services.

Ayton says there is a risk of interface fires for Delta residents living near Watershed Park.

An interface fire destroyed the village of Lytton in 2021, sweeping over the town and forcing people to flee for their lives. Two people did not survive.

Later that summer, the White Rock Lake fire consumed 70 structures near Vernon.

In some cases, houses burned down while the fire left neighbouring homes untouched.

Ayton says there are things homeowners can do to make their properties more resilient to wildfire.

The City of Delta sent a letter to people living next to Watershed Park, offering tips such as keeping gutters clear of leaves and needles from trees, keeping grass short and other landscaping techniques and making sure wood piles and other flammable items are not stored directly next to the house.

"By doing that it drastically reduces the risk of that wildland fire affecting their home," Ayton said. "The fire can literally pass through the community and their homes are still standing."

The city is also taking other measures to reduce the chances of a fire spreading from a wilderness area into nearby neighbourhoods.

It is clearing a five metre wide strip of undergrowth and brush all along the park's edge where there are homes directly next to it.

Crews are also clearing dead trees and branches in areas next to walking trails. Top Stories

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