Due to the high winds and dry conditions typical to this area of Alberta, spring and fall are high risk seasons for wildfire. We recommend that rural residents take the time to assess their property and eliminate as many fire hazards and fuel sources as possible.
FireSmart is a program developed by Partners in Protection that outlines, in three manageable steps, ways individuals can help protect their property from wildfire.
Homeowners can FireSmart their property the following ways:
- Contact your utility company if trees or branches are not clear of power lines.
- Always keep a watchful eye on fire pits and burn barrels when they are in use.
- Ensure your roof is free of needles and leaves, and there are no overhanging trees or branches that can catch on fire.
- Make sure your chimney is up to code and has a spark arresting screen installed.
- Remove all long grass, shrubs, logs, branches, twigs and needles within 10 metres of your home.
- Have a nearby water supply for emergencies.
- Store firewood a minimum of 10 metres from any structures.
- Have your address or lot number clearly visible for quick identification by Emergency Services.
- Mow and regularly water the grass within 10 metres of buildings.
- Keep shovels, rakes, axes, garden hoses, sprinklers and ladders available to assist in protecting homes from wildfires.
- Prune the first two metres of branches on tree trunks.
- Remove any vegetation near power lines, propane tanks and other fuel supplies.
- Plant fire resistant trees like aspen, birch or poplar instead of spruce and pine.
- Close in any exposed eaves, vents and soffits on your home.
- Move propane tanks at least 10 metres away from any structure.
- Sheath the underside of balconies, decks and crawlspaces with flame-resistant materials.
- Keep trees at least three metres away from either side of your driveway.
- Install tempered or thermal windows that are at least double pane to prevent thermal transfer into your home.
- Provide emergency access to and from your property.
- Choose less flammable finishes for your home like stucco, metal, brick or concrete instead of wood or vinyl.
- Use only Class A, B or C rated fire resistant roofing materials.
Bragg Creek FireSmart Zone Planning Committee
The Bragg Creek FireSmart Zone Planning Committee was comprised of the Councillor from Division 1, six members at large, County staff and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.
As Bragg Creek is one of the communities identified as being at high risk of wildfire, the committee worked to educate local residents about FireSmart principles through meetings, media and demonstration plots within the community.
The committee also developed the Greater Bragg Creek FireSmart Mitigation Strategy (PDF), which includes both strategic and operational options to reduce wildfire threat for inclusion in municipal development, natural resource, and forest protection plans.