FireSmart - Wildfire Awareness


FireSmart Neighborhood Awareness Workshop

The recording of the FireSmart Neighborhood Awareness Workshop is now ready to be viewed!


Free FireSmart Home Assessments

Parkland County is now offering free FireSmart Home Assessments to residents of Spring Lake.
Visit Parkland County - Free FireSmart Home Assessments for more information!

County residents can get a free FireSmart Home Assessment to learn how to protect their homes from wildfires.
Each assessment takes about 45 minutes of your time and it is recommended that you be available during that time.

Our FireSmart experts will:
1.     Tour the outside of your house and yard for things that increase your risk during a wildfire.
2.     Provide a customized report based on what they see with actions on how to reduce the risk of damage
        by wildfire.
3.     Share helpful tips to make your home less susceptible to wildfires.

If you've completed the suggested safety improvements in the report, you can ask for another assessment later if you wish.

Visit Parkland County - Free FireSmart Home Assessments for more information!


What is the Home Ignition Zone?

The Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) is the area within 30 metres of your home and structures.

The Home Ignition Zone is made up of three priority areas:
The Immediate Zone, Intermediate Zone, and Extended Zone.

The HIZ shows how you can minimize your home and property’s vulnerability to wildland fire by addressing threats in each of the three priority zones, starting with the most vulnerable area, the Immediate Zone, and working your way outward. The HIZ focuses on reducing the opportunity for the spread of flames, and removal of points where embers can gather and ignite objects or buildings.
Learn more about the HIZ and how you can reduce your risk, in our FireSmart Begins at Home Guide.

 

Immediate Zone: 0 – 1.5 metres
The Immediate Zone is a non-combustible area that starts at the house and extends to 1.5m perimeter around the home and attached structures, including decks. Reduce the chance of wind-blown embers igniting your home by starting with these proactive steps:

  • Choose non-combustible building materials when constructing or renovating your home.
  • Clear vegetation and combustible material down to mineral soil and cover with non-combustible materials like gravel, brick, or concrete.
  • Avoid planting woody shrubs or trees. If any are present, prune and maintain them regularly.

Intermediate Zone: 1.5 – 10 metres
Elements in the Intermediate Zone are managed so they don’t transmit fire to your home. Here are a few actions you can take to reduce your home’s vulnerability:

  • Plant fire-resistant vegetation and select non-combustible landscaping materials.
  • Avoid incorporating any woody debris, including mulch.
  • Keep combustible items like firewood piles, construction materials, patio furniture, tools, and decorative pieces out of this zone.
  • Move trailers, recreational vehicles, storage sheds, and other combustible structures into the Extended Zone. If that’s not possible, store firewood inside your mitigated garage, shed, or other ember-resistant structures.
  • Create a non-combustible ground cover, like a gravel pad, underneath and 1.5 metres around trailers, recreational vehicles, and sheds.

Extended Zone: 10 – 30 metres
The goal in the Extended Zone is not to eliminate fire, but to reduce its intensity. If your property extends into this zone, a few important steps you can take include:

  • Selectively remove evergreen trees to create at least 3 metres of horizontal space between the single or grouped tree crowns.
  • Remove all branches to a height of 2 metres from the ground.
  • Regularly clean up accumulations of fallen branches, dry grass, and needles to eliminate potential surface fuels.
  • Continue to apply these principles if your property extends beyond 30 m. Work with your neighbours in overlapping zones and seek guidance from a forest professional if affected by other conditions like steep slopes.

For more information on specific steps you can take to FireSmart your home, visit:
https://firesmartcanada.ca/about.../the-home-ignition-zone/ 
 

Thanks,
Village of Spring Lake


FIRE HAZARD DEFINITIONS

EXTREME 
Large, erratic-behaving wildfires can start quickly and spread extremely fast. High-intensity, fast-spreading wildfires are very difficult and dangerous to bring under control. NO OUTDOOR BURNING SHOULD TAKE PLACE IN AREAS WITH AN EXTREME FIRE DANGER RATING. Fire restrictions are usually in place.

VERY HIGH 
Wildfires can start easily, spread rapidly, and increase quickly in intensity. A wildfire that starts in dry grass or slash can develop into a high-intensity wildfire very easily. Outdoor burning is not recommended and fire restrictions may be in effect.

HIGH 
Wildfires can start easily from most causes and unattended campfires are very likely to escape. Wildfires may become serious and difficult to control if not successfully contained while small. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning or late evening.

MODERATE 
Wildfires can start from most accidental causes and spread moderately through dry brush and grasses. Ground crews should be able to contain a wildfire with minimal support from heavy equipment and aircraft. Wildfires not suppressed immediately can still become expensive to extinguish later.

LOW 
Wildfires do not readily ignite, unless from a more intense heat source like lightning. Weather and fuel conditions lead to low intensity and relatively easy to control fires. However, caution should always be taken with any type of burning.

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