Wildland/Urban Interface Areas

Fire Safety in a Wildland/Urban Interface Areas

For more information about Wildland Urban Interface Fires & Safety please visit firesmartcanada.ca.

Coquitlam has many areas where the wilderness and urban development meet. This means that structures and vegetation are sufficiently close together that a wildfire may spread between trees or vegetation and structures easily.

Coquitlam Fire/Rescue, along with other agencies, have the means to suppress or control structure and wildfires. With cooperation from homeowners in the urban interface areas who reduce fuel and exposure to wildland fires, we can both reduce and limit the risk of fire.

Our ability to live more safely in this fire environment depends upon everyone taking steps to reduce the risk of a forest fire becoming an urban fire.

Some factors that may influence the fire environment are: weather, topography/slope, available fuel and human activities. By being aware of these factors and following this list of recommendations you can assist in reducing the risks of damage and increase the chance that your home will survive a wildfire.

Reduce Your Risk from Wildfire - Information for Residents

  • Manage the risk and reduce the amount of fuel present - prune your shrubs, remove all dead and dry vegetation and tree limbs 2 - 3 metres from the ground.
  • Break up continuous vegetation.  Vegetation should be spaced so that there is no continuous canopy or line of vegetation leading to your structure. Increase the spacing between shrubs and plants if your lot is on a slope.
  • Plant more fire resistant vegetation around your house or other structures.
  • Relocate firewood and other combustible debris at least 10 metres away from your home.
  • Know the exit routes from your neighbourhood and be prepared to use an alternate route if necessary.
  • If you are replacing your roof, siding or decking, Fire/Rescue is recommending you choose a limited combustible or fire resistant product. (Please check with the Building Department prior to replacing your roof for any other pertinent local regulations.)
  • Keep the roof and gutters clear of dead needles and other accumulations such as dead leaves; prune all branches that hang over the roof.
  • Adhere to local bylaws, which do not allow any open burning, and dispose of smoking materials carefully.

Interface Fire Prevention Info

The following information session presentation boards have detailed information on:

  • Coquitlam wildfire history
  • Description of fire-brand-caused ignitions and radiant heat or flame contact ignitions
  • Coquitlam's community wildfire protection planning
  • Construction and landscaping tips to help prevent wildland fires
  • Fire-smarting your property by creating a defensible space within 10m of your property
  • Coquitlam Fire / Recue capabilities and examples of their Structure Protection Team in action

Building & Landscaping Recommendations for Wildland/Urban Interface Areas

There are decisions that can be made with your landscaping that can help prevent potential wildfire damage to your home. This document lists landscaping ​choices ​of plants that are ​recommended and those we don't recommend for properties in a wildland/urban interface area.  

Designing and maintaining a fire wise building or subdivision can mean the difference in a successful outcome when dealing with interface fires. The Wildland/Urban Interface Area - Builders, Developers & Professionals Guide has recommendations that are provided to assist in the choice of development design, choice of construction materials and landscaping in interface areas.

Fire Prevention Division
1300 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, B.C. V3B 7S4