Use common sense to prevent fires
- Ensure cigarette butts are put out properly in an ashtray and not tossed away carelessly.
- Beach fires are not permitted at any location in Saanich.
- Open burning is not permitted.
- Burning wood in an outdoor fire pit, fireplace, pizza oven or chiminea is not permitted.
- Propane, natural gas or charcoal briquette fueled appliances designed and used for cooking food are allowed.
- Propane or natural gas fueled appliances specifically designed as outdoor heaters are allowed, provided the appliance is CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certified.
Fire Danger Rating Map (updated daily)
Fire Safety in Wildland/Urban Interface Areas
Saanich 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.
Our ability to live more safely in this 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
Manage the risk and reduce the amount of fuel present - prune shrubs, remove all dead and dry vegetation and tree limbs 2-3 metres from the ground. Prior to cutting consult Saanich's Tree Protection Bylaw. (Saanich’s Greener Garbage Collection program will accept yard waste from Saanich residents free of charge.)
- 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, consider a limited combustible or fire resistant product.
- 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 outline rules for outdoor burning.
- Protect your home from wildfire: FireSmart Begins at Home Manual.
In Saanich, an Interface Fire Hazard Development Permit Area exists and is included in Appendix “N” to Saanich’s Official Community Plan, Bylaw 8940. In keeping with Bylaw 8940, a development permit is not required for “voluntary vegetation management (ground cover, shrubs and trees) in close proximity to dwelling units, other principle buildings and accessory buildings to ensure adequate clearance between buildings and trees and planting of species that are less susceptible to fire all contribute to reducing wildfire risk.”
Community Wildfire Protection Plan
In 2020, a Saanich working group developed a Community Wildfire Protection Plan [PDF - 5 MB] which included an updated wildfire risk assessment. The Plan provides Saanich with a framework that will be used to review and assess areas of identified high fire risk within the municipal boundary. There is no one course of action or combination of actions that is the singular answer to the challenge of wildfire risk in communities. Priorities and supporting actions will be evaluated on a regular basis to support current and longer term needs of the municipality.
Community Wildfire Presentations
To raise awareness and provide information to reduce the risk of wildfire, the Fire Department has developed information and an easy-to-understand presentation for homeowners, local community groups and associations. To book a presentation or find out more information, contact our Fire Prevention Division at 250-475-5500.
Are You Prepared?
Make a family emergency plan and be prepared to sustain you and your loved ones for at least seven days.