Let's link this to the new defensible space blog once it's published.

Safeguarding Your Vineyard: Wildfire Preparedness for Winery Owners in the Okanagan

British Columbia's Okanagan Valley is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, fertile soil, and thriving vineyards that produce some of the finest wines in Canada. However, with the increasing threat of wildfires in the region and 2023’s devastating fire, winery owners are looking for proactive measures to protect their vineyards. Follow these essential steps for winery owners to help safeguard your businesses during wildfire season.

Create a Defensible Space

Creating a defensible space around your winery can significantly reduce the risk of wildfire damage. Clearing dry vegetation, dead plants, and debris from the immediate vicinity of the vineyard can act as a natural firebreak. Implementing physical firebreaks, such as gravel paths or cleared areas, can help impede the progress of a wildfire and protect your winery. Installing irrigation systems around your vineyard can also serve as a valuable tool to create defensible space, as wetter soil is less prone to ignition. Automated sprinkler systems can be triggered in advance to keep the surrounding area moist during periods of elevated fire risk.

Upgrade Structures with Fire-Resistant Materials

When constructing or renovating winery buildings, prioritize the use of fire-resistant materials. This includes materials for roofs, siding, and decks. Consider installing fire-resistant shutters or screens on windows to prevent embers from entering buildings and causing internal fires. Upgrading the materials of potentially vulnerable structures can make all the difference in the event of a fire.

Always Follow Local Fire Restrictions

Always follow all wildfire guidelines and fire bans, be careful of cigarette ashes and sparks from motors Remember, those restrictions are in place for a reason. No matter how experienced or careful you may be, when conditions are too dry, a wildfire can ignite and get out of control very quickly.

Develop a Detailed Emergency Plan

Create a comprehensive emergency plan that outlines specific procedures to follow in the event of a wildfire threatening your business. This plan should include evacuation routes, communication strategies with employees and emergency services, and designated meeting points. Regularly review and update the plan to ensure its effectiveness and relevance to your winery's unique requirements.

Set Up a Sprinkler System

One of the most effective things you can do is to install a sprinkler system at your winery. This reduces the likelihood of ember-related combustion, and can prevent your property and neighbouring properties from igniting. A sprinkler system will keep your structures moist, making them difficult to burn and potentially saving them if a fire reaches the property.

SPIEDR provides many businesses and homes with customized wildfire protection sprinklers. Get in touch today to learn how to get a reliable structure protection sprinkler system tailored to your winery.

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By thinkprofits / Administrator, bbp_keymaster on Feb 26, 2024