FireSmart BC Landscaping Hub

Increase the wildfire resiliency of your property

By making the right strategic choices in your yard, you can make your property more resilient to wildfire. This hub includes an extensive list of fire-resistant plants, tips on how to create a FireSmart landscape, and information on the FireSmart BC Plant Program.

Watch:
Will it burn?

Get your yard FireSmart

FireSmart Plant Program tags make planting a wildfire-resilient yard easy. Find them at participating garden centres.

FireSmart landscaping tips & insights

There are simple steps you can take to drastically reduce your property’s risk of damage caused by wildfire. FireSmart methods have been proven to reduce the likelihood of losses, even under the most extreme fire conditions.

Your best protection from wildfire is prevention, and one of the best tools available is the FireSmart BC Landscaping Guide.

Keep grass cut below 10 cm

Grass shorter than 10 centimetres is less likely to burn intensely, reducing its ability to ignite structures. Whenever possible, you should also ensure that your lawn is well hydrated, as dry grass has a higher flammability potential.

Be aware of which plants and trees your property contains

Coniferous trees, with cones and needles, are highly flammable and should not be within 10 metres of your home. A few of these are spruce, pine, fir, and cedar. Find out more about FireSmart plants and use them to reduce your risk.

Know your property’s ignition zones

Learn the 4 priority structure ignition zones around your property. Work with your neighbours in any overlapping priority zones! Check out the structure ignition zone poster here.

Watch:
The Beauty of FireSmart Landscaping with Brian Minter

Find out which fire-resistant plants are best suited for your area

Our fire-resistant plant tool helps British Columbians identify the species that grow best in the specific climate where they live. Finding the right plants lowers the risk of structure damage due to wildfire, and FireSmart selections can also increase sustainability, helping to conserve water and attract pollinators.

FireSmart FAQs

A FireSmart landscape is a yard designed and maintained with the goal of reducing damage and/or loss from wildfires. What is planted and where it is planted are two key factors.

These zones are areas around a home where steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of embers accumulating and leading to the structure being ignited by fire. The most critical are the non-combustible 1.5-metre zone up against the home and the next zone within 10 metres. See the FireSmart Structure Ignition Zone Poster for more details.

Assess. Take a walk around your yard, make a note of items that look like they would catch fire easily, and make a to-do list for fixing. Start directly outside and around your home and move outwards. For example, needles and dry leaves could be cleaned up and put in the compost.

Plants with the following characteristics are more flammable:

  • leaves that have a strong odour when crushed
  • stems or branches that have a gummy sap with a strong odour
  • fine, dry, dead material such as loose, papery bark, twigs, needles, and leaves within the plant

Not necessarily. Close consideration should be given to removing anything combustible within the 1.5-metre non-combustible zone. Conifers in the 1.5-10 metre zone should also be looked at closely.

Low-growing conifers may be less risky further from the house, but still provide flammable fuel. Tall conifer trees may not be feasible to remove. Fire risk can still be mitigated by pruning lower branches and raking up debris such as needles and cones.

Use broadleaf evergreens from the FireSmart plant tool for year-round interest.

There are no fire-proof plants. However, plants with the following characteristics do not provide significant fuel or increase fire intensity:

  • moist, supple leaves
  • water-like sap with little or no odour
  • limited build-up of dead material

Note: Fire-resistant plants may become more risky if they are neglected and dead material is allowed to accumulate.

To find out which fire-resistant plants will grow in your area, use our FireSmart plant tool.

Download FireSmart landscaping resources

Looking for FireSmart tips or information on fire-resistant plants? Download the FireSmart Plant Chart Booklet and the FireSmart BC Landscaping Tips Brochure for free!
Plant chart Landscaping tips brochure