Last summer, a wildfire close to Logan Lake, a small community of 2000 in British Columbia, threatened residents with losing their homes and commercial buildings.
Residents were ordered to evacuate when the August 2021 Tremont Creek wildfire rapidly started heading their way. Surrounded by forests and large tracts of land heavily impacted by the mountain pine beetle, the community was ripe for the taking by fire.
However, a novel approach devised by the local fire chief, Dan Leighton, prevented a catastrophe.
His solution? A small sprinkler attached to a home's roof that's fed through a garden hose to create mist that protects the building from flying embers.
"It does make a difference. It does matter. It works," says Logan Lake's mayor Robin Smith. "For us, it was the difference between being here and not being here."
While the fire came within just 30 feet of one house, Smith credits the sprinklers along with other initiatives, such as clearing surrounding brush and removing flammable material, for saving the home and allowing residents enough time to evacuate safely.
To date, Fire Chief Doug Wilson says his team has installed sprinklers on 400 homes, and the plan continues to expand.
"We are doing about 10 to 12 a week," he says.
The $45 sprinklers have been used for years at industrial complexes but are easily adaptable to residential roofs. When coupled with a Wi-Fi hose bib, a home can be protected whether you are there or not.
Virginia is not a hotbed for wildfires yet. As this post is being written, the Beech Fire is burning just over the Virginia border in Kentucky. Last year's blaze on Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, in late December scorched over 1000 acres and took several days to contain. Experts predict the drier conditions and warmer temperatures affecting parts of Virginia increase the chances of wildfire throughout the year.
Many Mutual Assurance members insure their vacation homes with the Society, and we encourage them to inspect their homes and property for fire potential. For about $100, anyone can help protect his home from a devastating wildfire, saving thousands in repair or rebuilding costs and the frustration and heartache that such a loss can bring.
Sources: Victoria Times Columnist, Amazon