The Canal Flats FireSmart™ Program

The Canal Flats FireSmart™ Program

FireSmart™ Canada is a national program that helps Canadians increase neighborhood resilience to wildfire and minimize its negative impacts. It was founded in 1993 to address common concerns about wildfire in the wildland urban interface.

The Canal Flats FireSmart Committee was originally launched in 2019 but came to a halt due to the global pandemic. In 2023 a new Committee launched the program and acquired funding from UBCM. In this Committee we have Fire Chief, Zacc Farrell, FireSmart Coordinator, Tamara Baker, Secretary, Laura Favreau, and community members, Richard Wayken, Patrisha Reed, Carole Timmerman, Josh Detta & Darcy Doherty.

Through this program, our goal is to educate residents on their roles involved in wildfire resiliency & how we can support these activities. With a changing climate, the threat of wildfire has increased significantly for everyone, including those living by the wildland urban interface. We all have a part to play when it comes to preventing wildfire and reducing risk.

Some of the most valuable information that I have read is that embers can travel up to 2 kms and are responsible for 90% of home ignitions. So as important as interface mitigation is, the determining factor of whether a house survives a wildfire, are the materials its built with, and the mitigation in the immediate zone.

As the 2023 wildfire season ended the FireSmart Committee got to work, planning events, programs, and mitigation projects that would bring neighbors together and improve the town’s wildfire resiliency for the following season.

FireSmart Canada Neighborhood Recognition Program

The Neighborhood Recognition Program is a national program developed to officially recognize neighborhoods that have taken critical steps to reduce their vulnerability to wildland fire. The program focuses on bringing neighbors together to address threats to their respective properties, and those in communal areas within the community.

The Village of Canal Flats currently has three neighborhood Champions that have attended the workshop and intend to recognize their neighborhood.

Jennifer Noble – Cedar, Tamarack & Columbia Springs

Don Robertshaw – Big Horn Sheep Lane

Sherri Cline – Willow, Pine, Baillie Grohman, Burns Block.

These Neighborhoods are expected to have mitigation events in April.

Home Ignition Zone Assessments

This assessment is used by Local FireSmart Representatives to assess your risk from wildfire using the Home Ignition Zone! By answering the questions in the assessment, they will be able to recommend changes that will make the greatest difference in defending against structure ignition.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

This is a national campaign that encourages residents to take actions that increase their home, neighborhood, and community’s resilience to wildfire. Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is always on the first Saturday in May. In 2024, it will take place on Saturday, May 4. Canal Flats Fire Rescue will be hosting an open house with a complementary BBQ for residents, BC Wildfire Service will be doing a pop-up booth to represent FireSmart & Volunteers will be driving around to collect yard debris for dump runs.

The Canal Flats Helping Hands Program

This Program is designed by The Canal Flats FireSmart Committee, to assist those who are not able to mitigate themselves. We are looking for volunteers & donations of equipment to assist our neighbors in maintaining wildfire resiliency on their property during wildfire season.

The Plant Program

A FireSmart yard includes making smart choices for your plants, shrubs, grass, and mulch. Selecting fire resistant plants and materials can increase the likelihood of your home surviving a wildfire. The Canal Flats FireSmart Plant Program will include education at The Elementary School, involving the students in planting FireSmart Plants, & identifying which plants should go in each ignition zone. The Plant Program will also be found at The Men’s Shed, here in Canal Flats, where members and residents can go to see a FireSmart garden and a FireSmart Information Board highlighting which plants are FireSmart.

Canal Flats FireSmart Rebate

This program offers a 50% rebate up to $1000 on LFR recommended mitigation. To start this process, you must first book a Home Ignition Zone Assessment with your Local FireSmart Representative (LFR). Limited rebates available.

Visual ‘Before & After’ Project

Beside the Canal Flats Dog Park there is land we received permission to mitigate to demonstrate a ‘before & after’ to show the importance of mitigation on the landscape. As residents drive by it is a reminder to mitigate their yard, and to bring awareness to FireSmart.

I would like to thank The Village of Canal Flats Residents for the overwhelming support for The Canal Flats FireSmart Program.

For any questions regarding these programs, please contact Tamara Baker @ 250-409-5830

For more information on these programs follow us on Facebook @ Canal Flats FireSmart

For more information about FireSmart visit or