The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is marking off Wildfire Community Preparedness Day by encouraging residents to take steps to decrease the risk of wildfires in the community.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is set to take place Saturday, May 4.

“Proper landscaping and vegetation management are key, including thinning and pruning vegetation, removing trees and converting to fire-resistant plants, and general cleanup of brush, leaves, grass, and debris,” said Mark Reshaur, assistant chief, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

Reshaur added watering plants and vegetation that surround a resident’s home is also important.

Other ways to reduce the risk of wildfires include placing firewood at least 10 meters away from structures and ensuring approved outdoor fire pits are in an open area away from overhanging vegetation.

The city would also like to remind residents to never throw smoking materials into any sort of vegetation or from their car windows. Cigarette butts should also never be put out in planter pots.

Last year, the fire service fought 201 grass, brush, and wildfires within city limits. Many of these wildfires had damaged properties as well as threatened structures in Winnipeg.