FireSmart Canada

Become FireSmart: Neighbourhood Considerations

Factors such as terrain/topography, weather patterns and climate, fire history, fuels and landscape, building materials, water resources, and development patterns influence wildfire risk in the WUI. Fortunately, many of these factors – fuels and landscape, building materials, and development patterns – can be modified to reduce the likelihood of home ignition during a wildfire event.

Whether you are developing a new neighborhood or maintaining an existing one there are some key components to consider…

For construction materials:
  • Use rated roofing material.
  • Use fire-resistant building material on exterior walls.
  • Use double-paned or tempered glass.
  • Enclose eaves, fascia, soffits and vents.
  • Protect overhanging and other attachments to the building (ie: fencing and decks).
For the surrounding yards and parks:
  • Use fire resistant plants.
  • Keep lawns watered and mowed.
  • Keep area free of leaf litter and yard debris.
  • Keep conifer tree crown spaced 10 meters apart.
  • Keep conifer trees pruned to a minimum height of 2 meters up the trunk of the tree.
For the surrounding forested or grassy areas:
  • Maintain grassy areas by mowing, watering or even burning vegetation regularly.
  • Create fuel breaks in strategic locations; these are areas free of trees which can be used to slow the progress of a fire and allow a place for fire fighters to safely action a wildfire.
  • Thin trees to a minimum distance of 3 meters between tree crowns.
  • Prune conifer trees to a minimum height of 2 meters up the trunk of the tree.

I am committed to learn about sprinkler systems for the wildland urban interface.

— Collin Williams, Firefighter, Yhc, Alberta