Protecting Your Home from Forest Fires

  • Make sure your blue and white fire number signs are clearly visible from the road.
  • Keep lawns trimmed, leaves raked and the roof and rain gutters free from such debris as dead limbs, pine needles and leaves.

  • Stack firewood at least 10 metres (33 feet) away from your residence.
  • Store flammable materials, liquids and solvents in metal containers outside your residence at least 10 metres (33 feet) away from your home and wooden fences.

  • Create defensible space by thinning trees and brush within 10 metres (33 feet) around your residence. Beyond 10 metres (33 feet), remove dead wood, debris and low tree branches.

  • Landscape your property with fire resistant plants and vegetation to prevent fire from spreading quickly. For example, hardwood trees are more fire-resistant than pine, spruce or balsam fir trees.

  • Make sure that water sources, such as hydrants, ponds, swimming pools and wells, are accessible to the fire department.

  • Use fire resistant, protective roofing and materials like stone, brick and metal to protect your residence. Avoid using wooden materials. They offer the least fire protection.

  • Cover all exterior vents, attics and eaves with metal mesh screens no larger than 6 millimeters or 1/4 inch to prevent debris from collecting and to help keep sparks out.

  • Install multi-pane windows, tempered safety glass or fireproof shutters to protect large windows from radiant heat.

  • Use fire-resistant draperies for added window protection.
  • Have chimneys, wood stoves and all home heating systems inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist.

  • Insulate chimneys and install spark arresters atop chimneys and stovepipes. The chimney should be at least 1 metre (~3 feet) above the roof.

  • Remove branches hanging above and around the chimney.

Fire Permits

During the provincial fire season (April 1 to October 31) you will need a permit for any burning other than cooking or warmth. The permits are free and have expiration dates. Be sure to follow all of the rules printed on the permit, including the restricted hours.  More information can be found on the Open Air Burning Permit Page.

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