What is FireSmart?
Using years of fire behavior research, FireSmart Canada has created a program to help homeowners identify and address wildfire threats on their property. These theories and recommendations have been tested and proven in both simulation and real world events, resulting in homes that are left unscathed despite a raging forest fire. The recommendations can be found in the FireSmart Homeowner's Manual
My property is FireSmart what more can I do?
Encourage others to get involved; neighbors, co-workers, etc. It has been found that the most successful FireSmart projects are those that are spearheaded by homeowners. This could include helping a neighbor FireSmart their property (if fire cannot burn on their property, it can't spread to yours) or doing FireSmart Treatment in a common area in your neighborhood.
Lots of information regarding wildfire and homeowner protection is available. Much of it is provided on the FireSmart Canada website, click the following link to find out more:https://www.firesmartcanada.ca/
Facts on deciduous trees vs coniferous trees
Some interesting facts as to why deciduous trees (having leaves) are great asset when it comes to protecting your home from wildfire and how they act as a fire-retardant.
- Act as a shield against the extreme radiant heat generated by the approaching fire - thus protection windows from shattering (creates an opening for embers to enter the home) and materials from melding, such as vinyl siding.
- A large tree can help trap burning material so that it does not contact the home.
- The stored moisture in the leaves helps to suppress the fire’s energy so that the temperatures that reach the home are not as intense.
Remember that coniferous trees (having needles) tend to be a detriment to have near the home as the resins in them are highly flammable. If you do have a favorite needle tree in the yard, make sure you have taken the following steps to make it less likely to ignite.
- Prune branches to a height of 2 meters off the ground.
- Remove any branches that directly contact the home.
- Ensure that it is well spaced from surrounding coniferous trees (a minimum of 3 meters) ie) there is no direct contact from it to the forest where fire could easily reach it.
- Remove any buildup of dead, dry needles.
The exception to this rule are Western larch trees, which are a needle tree, but they do have a low flammability rating.