RDKB News: New FireSmart on Wheels Trailer rolling out

FireSmart BC and the Fire Chiefs Association of BC have selected the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) to launch the province’s first FireSmart on Wheels Trailer to educate community members on wildfire preparedness.

This innovative, 5,000-pound trailer is solar powered and designed to enhance FireSmart community events. It comes equipped with all necessary resources, including an awning, guides and manuals, tables, a tent, FireSmart promotional items, and equipment for an on-site presentation or information booth. Its compact design allows it to be easily towed by an SUV or electric truck  ensuring efficiency and accessibility.

The trailer will also serve as a mobile den for Ember, the FireSmart Fox, the program’s official mascot.  As FireSmart’s traveling ambassador, Ember  will help spread community awareness and promote wildfire preparedness across the region.

The RDKB was chosen for this pilot program due to its emergency management team’s impressive track record, dedicated wildfire mitigation specialists, and robust FireSmart initiatives. Last summer, despite limited field staff, the RDKB conducted 300 FireSmart Home Partners Program assessments. This achievement demonstrates the effectiveness of a regional FireSmart model in delivering cost-efficient and impactful wildfire education and mitigation strategies.

Housed at RDKB’s Trail headquarters, the trailer will serve communities across the district appearing at various FireSmart events. Its debut is scheduled for Big White’s Community Clean-Up Event on Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23.

Carlene Pires, RDKB’s Emergency Program and FireSmart Coordinator, expressed her team’s enthusiasm: “We are thrilled to be provided with this opportunity to launch the first-ever FireSmart on Wheels Trailer. This mobile unit will significantly enhance our FireSmart efforts in schools and communities and provide valuable support to our wildfire mitigation specialists across the region. We are also eager to offer this resource to neighbouring First Nations, regional districts, and municipalities on loan for free, promoting widespread FireSmart education and resilience.”

Hannah Swift, Acting Program Lead for FireSmart BC, added: “The launch of the new FireSmart on Wheels trailer is another exciting step forward in wildfire resilience. This innovative mobile unit will help our local and regional representatives educate residents about FireSmart principles more effectively, contributing to safer and stronger communities.”

Phil Lemire, Executive Officer for the Fire Chiefs Association of BC echoed his support: “The introduction of the FireSmart Events Trailer represents a significant enhancement in our community outreach efforts. By providing a mobile, fully-equipped resource, teams can offer hands-on demonstrations and vital information on wildfire preparedness at various events.  “This initiative underscores our commitment to empowering communities with the knowledge and tools needed for effective wildfire prevention and safety.”

The pilot program’s success, measured by data, feedback, and usage frequency, will determine its potential adoption across British Columbia.

For more information about the FireSmart on Wheels Trailer and RDKB’s FireSmart initiatives, please contact Carlene Pires at RDKB’s Trail Headquarters at 250.368.0259 or email firesmart@rdkb.com.  Learn more about wildfire preparedness at firesmartbc.ca

About FireSmart BC

FireSmart BC helps build wildfire resiliency and reduce the negative impacts of fire for everyone in the province. The BC FireSmart Committee was initiated by the BC Wildfire Service in May 2017 to provide direction for wildfire prevention activities. Members of the committee include the BC Wildfire Service, FireSmart Canada, the Office of the Fire Commissioner, the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C., Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR), the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C., the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of B.C. (FNESS), Indigenous Services Canada, the Ministry of Forests – Regional Operations, Parks Canada, and BC Parks.