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FireSmart Begins at Home

FireSmart Photo Contest

Did you know that taking FireSmart action at home can be as simple as moving wood piles, cutting your grass and cleaning your gutters? It’s true!

Chances are, you’re already taking these FireSmart actions at home, so we want to see the great work you are doing!

Enter the FireSmart photo contest for your chance to win one of four chainsaw prize packages!

How to enter

  1. Review the Review the FireSmart Begins at Home Brochure.
  2. Complete at least one eligible FireSmart task on the “How To Get Started” checklist.
  3. Submit a photo of the completed task.

You can submit up to one entry per eligible task completed (for a total of seven entries per household).

The deadline to submit your entry is August 31, 2020. Draws will take place on September 4, 2020.

Why FireSmart?

Wildfires are a natural part of Alberta's wildland ecosystems. Without wildfire, the landscape loses its diversity. But by choosing to extend our communities further into forested areas, we become more exposed to the threat of wildfire. While living close to where wildfires occur can put our homes at risk, it is still possible to live safely. We can do this by following FireSmart principles around our own homes and properties. When FireSmart begins at home, we not only reduce the risk of wildfire damage to our own home and property, but also to our neighbour's homes, our communities and our region.

How to be FireSmart at Home

There are many simple actions you can take around your home and property to become more FireSmart. A great place to start is by creating and following regular landscaping routines. This includes clearing your lawn and gutters of debris, mowing grass to 10 centimeters in length or less and clearing vegetation away from combustible fence lines. More helpful tips can be found by downloading the RMWB FireSmart Begins at Home Brouchure.

Non-Combustible Zone

When it comes to protecting your home from wildfire damage, there are four priority zones to focus on. While all priority zones are important, the most critical area for implementing FireSmart principles is the non-combustible zone.

The non-combustible zone is the area within 0 to 1.5 metres from your home and deck. As the name of the zone suggests, there should be no combustible material in this area. This includes vegetation such as trees, plants and grass. Creating a non-combustible surface can be as easy as raking down to mineral soil. You can also create a non-combustible zone by adding gravel, patio stone or concrete.


Proper landscaping can go a long way in protecting your home from wildfire damage. When planning your landscaping efforts in areas close to your home, remember to use non-combustible materials and plant species.

For example, while mulch has many positive attributes, most mulches are highly combustible. Mulch is not recommended for use within five feet of your home or other structures on your property. Non-combustible alternatives to mulch in this area can include rock, gravel, concrete and pavers.

Similarly, deciduous tree species such as Poplar, Aspen and Willow are much less combustible than coniferous species such as Spruce and Pine. When planting trees near your home and other structures on your property, consider these factors.

Learn more about FireSmart landscaping principles by downloading the RMWB FireSmart Guide to Landscaping.

Home Building

When FireSmart principles are taken into consideration at the home building level, there is opportunity to significantly reduce your risk of wildfire damage. Choosing non-combustible building materials such as asphalt shingles, stucco siding and composite decks and fencing panels can prevent embers from penetrating your home and starting an ignition.

Learn more about FireSmart homebuilding by downloading the FireSmart Home Development Guide.

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