It's time to get FireSmart about wildfires in BC

Introducing the
FireSmart BC Magazine

Calling all homeowners, active community members, First Nations and Local Governments: the FireSmart BC Magazine was created to keep you informed on all things FireSmart. Stay in the know with all the latest news, success stories, FireSmart tips, and more.

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How Deer Ridge is Putting FireSmart on the Map

The lakeside town of Summerland has long been a trendsetter, hosting the Okanagan Valley’s first telephone and electricity connections, as well as British Columbia’s first...

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A FireSmart Assessment can save your home

Our latest video shows how a FireSmart Home Ignition Zone Assessment helps identify risk factors, giving homeowners crucial information on how to protect their property against wildfire.

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Helping agriculture in your community prepare for wildfire.

Are you local government or First Nations? Check out the free workshop: Training For BC Farm Ranch Wildfire Preparedness.

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Farm and ranch wildfire preparedness resources

Producers face unique challenges from wildfire. Learn more about how you can help prepare here.

The best thing about being FireSmart is how easy it is.

The homes that are prepared are the homes left standing. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to drastically reduce your property's risk.

Make sure to download the full homeowners guide to how to FireSmart your property:

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Clean your roof and gutters.

And trim any branches overhanging on to your roof. Embers will look to jump on to home, so don't give them anything to catch fire on.

Move firewood and propane 10-30 metres away from your home.

Don't let fire come to your door. Keep your grass cut to below 10cm, and move anything that can be fuel for the fire a safe 10-30 meters distance from your home.

Have a wildfire evacuation plan within your household.

Don't wing it. Having a simple evacuation plan is easy to do, and makes a world of difference.

Is your community FireSmart?

FireSmart Canada officially recognizes over 100 communities across BC as being prepared for the threat of wildfire. Check if your community is on the list of "FireSmart Recognized Communities".

Recognized Communities

There’s more than one way to get FireSmart.

FireSmart® comprises of seven disciplines: Education, Vegetation Management, Legislation and Planning, Development Considerations, Interagency Cooperation, Cross-training and Emergency Planning. Together, these disciplines create a framework for how FireSmart addresses wildfire at the home, community and provincial levels.

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Education

Raising awareness of wildfire risks and teaching about prevention and mitigation. When it comes to being FireSmart, education is everything. From landscaping best practices to fire-resilient building materials, learning what you can do today to protect against wildfires can save homes and lives tomorrow.

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Vegetation Management

One of the key ways to mitigate wildfire threats is to manage vegetation on properties in fire-prone areas. Managing these fuels on the landscape by using the best available science is key to reducing community wildfire vulnerability.

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Emergency Planning

It takes everyone from firefighters to government representatives to homeowners to have the best-laid plans in a worst-case scenario. Encouraging emergency planning by combining local knowledge with expertise in wildfire management helps communities become better prepared in responding to and recovering from wildfires.

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Cross-training

There are two kinds of firefighters: wildfire and structural. Many other local resources may also be involved in managing a wildfire incident. When firefighters are cross-trained, response capabilities are improved, and communities are safer.

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Interagency Cooperation

FireSmart is a shared responsibility, which means it relies on strong and lasting partnerships. Promoting collaboration between agencies and across different levels of government will better support community wildfire preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery.

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Legislation & Planning

Wildfire prevention is a community effort. It starts with proven FireSmart practices for land-planning and building legislation that focuses on fire safety. This includes the development of policy and legislation related to: forestry management practices; integrated land use planning; compliance and enforcement programs; and legal orders.

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Development Considerations

Whether in the design stage, building, or performing renovations, there are many ways land use planning and development standards can help protect homes and communities from wildfires. Effective local government land use planning can support community wildfire resiliency and infrastructure survivability.

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Useful Insights:

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Did you know that 50% of the homes burned from wildfires are started by sparks or embers?

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Moving your firewood 10-30 meters away from your house is a free FireSmart activity!

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Preparing your property for wildfire doesn’t mean you have to remove all the trees. There are many vegetation management options that can make your home resistant to wildfire.

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There will undeniably be an increasing number of home losses when we consider present trends in climate change, expansion of the wildland urban interface and changes in forest fuels

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Remember to remove any windblown leaves from under decks, as well as any flammable debris on balconies and patios.

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Simulation exercises are often the best way to cross train between agencies and ensure everyone is prepared for wildfire eventualities in the wildland urban interface.

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FireSmart In The Community

I have a lot of confidence in my home now that I've done this work.

- Pat Crook, Mackenzie

It allows us to interact with the community, and set up some guidelines that can help us reduce our wildfire risk.

- Krista Minar, Merrit