Neighbourhood considerations

Home Neighbourhoods Getting Started Neighbourhood considerations

Factors such as terrain/topography, weather patterns, and climate, fire history, fuels and landscape, building materials, water resources, and development patterns influence wildfire risk in the WUI.

Fortunately, many of these factors – fuels and landscape, building materials, and development patterns – can be modified to reduce the likelihood of home ignition during a wildfire event.

Whether you are developing a new neighborhood or maintaining an existing one there are some key components to consider.

For construction materials:

  • Use rated roofing material.
  • Use fire-resistant building material on exterior walls.
  • Use double-paned or tempered glass.
  • Enclose eaves, fascia, soffits, and vents.
  • Protect overhanging and other attachments to the building (ie: fencing and decks).

For the surrounding yard:

  • Maintain a 1.5 metre non-combustible surface around home and any projections, such as decks.
  • Use fire-resistant plants.
  • Keep lawns watered and mowed.
  • Keep the area free of leaf litter and yard debris.
  • Keep conifer tree crown spaced 10 metres apart.
  • Keep conifer trees pruned to a minimum height of 2 metres up the trunk of the tree.

For the surrounding forested or grassy areas:

  • Maintain grassy areas by mowing, watering or even burning vegetation regularly.
  • Create fuel breaks in strategic locations; these are areas free of trees which can be used to slow the progress of a fire and allow a place for firefighters to safely action a wildfire.
  • Thin trees to a minimum distance of 3 metres between tree crowns.
  • Prune conifer trees to a minimum height of 2 metres up the trunk of the tree.


FireSmart development standards help manage the wildfire reality by reducing the flammability of structures.

Whether you’re retrofitting an existing neighbourhood or building a new one you can make strategic choices for building materials and neighbourhood designs.

Always consider:

  • Is the construction of new homes or subdivisions “FireSmart”?
  • Assess the infrastructure as it relates to roadway access, water supply, utility placement, building materials and design, and forested areas adjacent and within the neighbourhood.