McBride District Fire Chief Courtney Lipke shows off the sprinkler kits, supplied by funding from the Regional District of Fraser Fort George, that the department will be distributing in May. /ANDREA ARNOLD

By Andrea Arnold

McBride and Electoral Area H representative at the Regional District of Fraser Fort George, Dannielle Alan, used money from her Grant in Aid Budget to purchase multiple home sprinkler kits for the McBride District Fire Department to distribute.

Fire Chief Courtney Lipke says that they used some of the supply during last May’s forest fire, but still have many to give out to residents who are in high risk areas.

In order to qualify, residents in and around McBride, including as far as Dome Creek, are asked to complete a fire smart home evaluation. These can be found on-line and printed out, or hard copies are available at TGP, Welcome Home, Horseshoe Lake Ventures and Integris in McBride. Once completed, the evaluations can be returned to one of those four locations, before May 8th.

Lipke wants people to understand that the results of the self assessment does not determine eligibility. He hopes that people take the information provided through the assessment as direction for self improvement in regards to wildfire protection for their properties.

“We want to encourage people to go onto the firesmart website and do their due diligence to make their homes and properties more fire safe,” he said.

“In regards to the kits, priority will be given to homes located in high risk areas,” said Lipke. “We have a limit of one kit per home address.”

At this time, the department has 50 WASP Wildfire Protection Full kits available for distribution, with a possibility for more in the future, pending funding. The system comes with two agricultural grade sprinkler heads, two wind and heat resistant hose brackets that either attach directly on to the eaves, or attach to fascia board or fencing using a screw on mount (included) as well as two 25 foot lengths of fire department grade hose. The website and the box both state that the system is intended to keep the roof of a structure wet, and if it is wet, it shouldn’t burn.

“The goal of the fire department and the Regional District is to have homeowners take initiative before a brush or forest fire occurs,” said Lipke. “We want to see people be ready and prepared as best as possible, preventing scrambling and panic in case of fire.”