Summer Fire Safety

The Fire Danger Rating is HIGH.

Forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious. New fires may start easily, burn vigorously, and challenge fire suppression efforts. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities. Open burning and industrial activities may be restricted.

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.”

Rural Saanich Risk Assessment for Interface Fires

In 2004, a Saanich working committee carried out a risk assessment for interface fires. Using the Ministry of Forests’ methodology to assess the risk of interface fires in rural areas of Saanich, only three levels of risk were identified: low, moderate and high. No areas of extreme hazard were identified in Saanich. Areas of low, moderate and high risk are shown on the Rural Saanich Fire Hazard Rating Map [PDF - 216 KB].

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.