FireSmart BC Landscaping Hub

FireSmart landscaping tips and insights

Basic chores could save your home

From mowing your lawn to pruning trees, doing some basic yard maintenance will go a long way to reducing the sources of fuel around your property. Using the slider below, learn about the basics and best practices when it comes to FireSmart landscaping.

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Have a question?

Do you have a question about FireSmart landscaping or fire-resistant plants? Check out our FAQ below, or ask our resident expert!

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.

Find FireSmart plants

Use our fire-resistant plant tool to find which FireSmart plants will grow in your region. For identifying FireSmart plants at the point of purchase, learn more about the FireSmart BC Plant Program and see if a garden centre near you is participating.

Plant Tool Plant Program