We live in a special place. Nestled between two mountains on the edge of one of the world’s best cities, it is a unique situation shared by few other places. Where else in the world can you live a 20 minute drive from downtown but also be a 20 minute bike ride from the backcountry. As summer comes full force we need to think about how to keep our special community, our homes and forest safe.
Wildfire home protection
Living on the edge of the forest there are some unique considerations to prepare your home to be in its best position to resist fire. The District of North Vancouver has an interactive website offering suggestions.
- Use fire resistant plants: Plant wildfire resistant plants within 10m of your house (avoid pine, cedar, spruce, and juniper)
- Replace conifer hedges: Replace flammable conifer hedges with low flammable species.
- Prune conifer trees: Prune conifer trees to give a 3m separation from ground to crown, and to buildings.
- Clear eaves: Clear your eaves regularly to ensure no build-up of debris.
- Screen your roof vents: Put screens over vents to keep debris and embers out.
- Replace cedar roofs: Replace cedar roofs with non-combustible ones (metal, ceramic, asphalt).
- Use fire retardant coatings: Treat fences, decks, and garden sheds with a fire retardant coating.
Keeping the home fires burning – maybe
There are clear regulations of what is allowed for recreational burning on the District of North Vancouver website. While gas or propane fueled devices are generally allowed, most wood burning units are not.
- burner (natural gas or propane)
- outdoor gas fire bowl
- gas barbecue
- charcoal barbecue
- patio heater (natural gas or propane)
These open fires are not permitted (minimum $400 fine):
- fire pit
- outdoor fireplace
- fire bowl/yard campfire
- Requiring permit: beach/park fire and outdoor pizza oven
For those planning more extensive construction this summer there are additional regulations that need to be considered.
From the archives
We spoke with the District of North Vancouver Fire Rescue about its wildfire preparations and how they were training additional District staff to support their work in the event of a fire. Check out that post here.