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City issues fire preparedness tips for Grande Prairie residents

The City of Grande Prairie has issued a word of caution for residents to be proactive in wildfire mitigation, and to be prepared for the upcoming wildfire season.

According to the city, Grande Prairie is preparing for hotter and drier weather this season once the late-season snowfall clears. Officials have shown concerns regarding the combination of dry conditions and forecasted weather patterns that will “heighten the potential” for wildfires.

As a result, the city is asking residents with properties located near wildland areas or near city parks to be “most prepared” on what to do in the event of a fire such as how to report, what to do when a fire is seen, and how to prepare for an emergency.

Grande Prairie Fire Chief Mark VanWerkhoven says residents who see an uncontrolled blaze in the city should immediately call 9-1-1 and be prepared to describe the location of the flames and their location in relation to the blaze during the call. Additionally, all residents are asked to keep 9-1-1 lines clear of non-emergency items during the wildfire season.

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“GP911 and GPFD are ready to do our part and [are] grateful to serve a community as resilient and resourceful as ours,” Chief VanWerkhoven says.

The GPFD is also recommending residents clear debris and flammable vegetation from around their property, create emergency kits with enough supplies for 72 hours, prune tree branches, consider purchasing an air purifier ahead of the smoky season, and ensure all smoking materials such as cigarette butts are completely out before putting them in the trash.

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