How to Make Your Home FireSmart


Sparks and embers can be thrown up to 2 km ahead of a wildfire. These can ignite materials on or near your home, which can be potentially devastating. These FireSmart guidelines will help you create a defensible space around your home, minimizing your fire risk.

Create a FireSmart Home Ignition Zone

The FireSmart Zone is the area around your home. Start at your home and work your way outwards. Changes made to the area closest to your home and your home itself will have the greatest impact on reducing the risk of wildfire damage. Download your copy of the FireSmart BC Homeowner Guide to use as reference.

Also review the zones below for important tips.

Home Ignition Zone

Zone 1: Home and Yard (within 10 Meters)

This should be a fire-resistant zone, free of all materials that could easily ignite from wildfire.

Did you know? Coniferous trees are highly flammable (evergreen trees with cones and needles, such as spruce, pine, cedar, and fir). Deciduous (leafy) trees such as maple, poplar, aspen and birch are much less flammable. Evergreen trees with cones are highly flammable and should not be within 10 meters of your home.

  • Check for ignition points in around your home and yard. Prune your shrubs, removing all dead branches. De-limb trees up to 2-3 meters from the ground. If branches are hanging over your roof, trim them back.
  • Remove debris that is easily ignited by sparks and embers. This includes dead pine needles: Keep them off your roof, out of your gutters and away from the foundation of your house.
  • Firewood piles should be at least 10 meters from your home.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and watered.
  • If you’re replacing your roof, choose a Class A or fire-resistant product. Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your house in a wildfire because of its large size and its susceptibility to flying embers.


    Zone 2: Outer Yard (10-30 meters from your Home)

  • Thin and prune coniferous trees to reduce hazards in this area.
  • Regularly clean up accumulations of fallen branches, dry grass, and needles from the ground to eliminate possible surface fuels.
  • Prune tree branches within 2 meters of the ground.

    Did you know? Radiant heat from a wildfire can melt vinyl siding, ignite your home, and even break windows. Extreme heat can come from flames within 30 meters of your home.

    Zone 3: Large Yards and Neighbourhoods (30-100 Meters)

    Look for opportunities to make a fire break by creating space between trees and other potential flammable vegetation. Thinning and pruning are effective.

    Space trees 3 meters apart (from branch tips) to reduce the intensity and rate of spread of a wildfire.