Factsheet: FireSmart Disciplines

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

FireSmart activities you can do while you’re at home.

As we navigate the evolving situation with COVID-19, FireSmart BC remains committed to supporting you with the resources you need to minimize risk from wildfire.

Some easy do at home FireSmart activities that FireSmart BC recommends while at home during COVID-19:

  • Download the updated FireSmart BC Manual and learn more about FireSmarting your home, neighbourhood and community
  • Watch the numerous video resources that are available on our website
  • Complete FireSmart 101 – a free online self-directed course on all things FireSmart.
  • Download the FireSmart Canada Guide to Landscaping to learn about new ways to fireproof your property through landscaping.
  • Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves within a minimum of 1.5 metres of a home’s foundation. As time permits, continue up to a 10-metre distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
  • Clean pine needles from roof and gutters.
  • Get out your measuring tape and seeing how close wood piles are located to the home. If closer than 10 metres, relocate and move the pile at least 10 metres from structures.
  • Sweep porches and decks to clear them of leaves and pine needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds and play structures.
  • Mow your grass to a height of 10 centimetres or less.
  • Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage shed, garage, or basement. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors and should be located away from the home.
  • Download the FireSmart Begins at Home app (at the App Store or at Google Play) and undertake a structure ignition-zone assessment.

Remember, if you need to perform an activity that creates woody debris, there are many alternatives to burning:

  • Grasscycling: Grass clippings are a natural fertilizer. Your lawn retains its health because each time you mow, you return valuable nutrients and moisture to the soil. Any lawn mower can recycle grass clippings. Just remove the grass bag/catcher. Mowers specifically designed for mulching are available and they produce finer clippings for grasscycling.
  • Chipping & Mulching: Mulch inhibits weeds, retains moisture and releases nutrients as it decomposes. Lay mulch in your yard with natural materials: dried grass, chipped woody material, or pine needles. Ensure that you do not spread these materials around within 10 meters of your home since they are highly combustible.
  • Composting: Composting takes ordinary yard and kitchen waste and transforms it into a superior soil amendment. Your plants will be healthier and more able to deal with insects and disease. Compost also aids in water absorption and minimizes the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Curbside Pick-up: Garbage haulers may offer an optional curbside subscription service for collecting residential yard or “clean green” debris pick-up. Haulers transport the material to a certified compost facility. Call your garbage hauler for details.
  • Hauling: Rake up your excess material and haul it to your nearest Transfer Station. Some small cities and towns provide a drop box or special area for residents to drop off yard and garden debris. Contact your town/city for more information.

It's more important than ever that we all step up and keep our communities safe. To learn more, please visit the resources page, and help get the message out by sharing this article.

Thank you and stay safe,

FireSmart BC

March 2020 Newsletter

2019 at a glance: in 2019, the BC FireSmart Committee worked with local governments, First Nations and community members to provide information, resources, education and training that was needed to assist them in becoming FireSmart communities.

Danielle Dysserinck FireSmart Testimonial

Danielle is the Deputy Emergency Program Coordinator for District of Mackenzie - listen to her talk about how running emergency planning, workshops and the application of FireSmart keeps her community safe.