LETTER: Address wildfire risks

From reader Brian Zacharias

Re: City of Nelson newsletter, Nelson Fire and Rescue Services, Nov. 28

The picture of two evergreen trees, in flames, next to a house, speaks volumes as to the extreme risk Nelson is in in the event of a wildfire in the hills around Nelson and the resulting ember shower. There are numerous buildings throughout the city that have juniper hedges and other evergreens right next to them. The inaction on the part of the city to begin a serious effort to remove these very hazardous combustibles is inviting serious loss of property and life.

The words on the picture, FireSmart Nelson, are misleading. According to the FireSmart booklet, combustible trees are supposed to be 10 meters from a structure. Nelson Fire and Rescue Services is advising residents to keep combustibles at least five feet away from any structure. The credit union has a cedar hedge right up to their building. If this hedge ignites and there is a wind, the entire block could burn.

There are numerous other structures in Nelson that do not comply with this advice. With climate change, we could be in for a long drought which will result in a fire disaster. It is past time for residents and those in authority to make a real effort to reduce the hazards within the city and rural residential areas. We are in this together and together, we can make a difference.

Brian Zacharias

Blewett

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