Living on the Edge of the Forest, Wildfire Risk

Many of us live in areas of our city that border on greenbelts, parks, raw land, or are entirely surrounded by large tracts of forested land. The possibility of a fire starting in these areas is always present, especially during the hot summer months. North Bay Fire and Emergency wants to share some tips on how to reduce your risk of fire spreading to your residence and outbuildings.

  • Try to maintain a 10m (30ft) clear zone between your structure and the forested area.
  • Create a 1-2m (3-6ft) "fuel free zone" with short grass, rock, patio stones, ponds or flower beds to keep flames away from siding.
  • Keep trees on the property well spaced and pruned high.
  • Remove dead or highly flammable trees first, e.g.: Poplar, Spruce, Cedar, Pine.
  • Remove trees and brush growing under taller trees, they act as ladder fuels to tree and rooftop.
  • Prune trees - remove branches within 2.5m (8ft) of the ground and remove branches overhanging the roof.
  • Remove any flammable materials against or adjacent to your home or outbuildings.
  • Keep firewood and debris piles at least 10m (30ft) away from all structures, including decks.


  • Cut and remove tall dead grasses from around all structures.
  • Keep propane tanks clear of vegetation and debris for approximately 3m(9ft).
  • Regularly perform a general cleanup around your residence and outbuildings removing logs, branches, twigs, pine and spruce needles, leaves, etc.
  • Keep all roofs, gutters and undersides of decks clear of combustible materials, e.g.: twigs, branches, pine and spruce needles, leaves, etc.
  • Have in readiness a rake, shovel, ladder, water supply and adequate garden hose to reach around and to the roof of your residence and outbuildings.
  • Talk to neighbours about wildfire safety and make a plan to work together to reduce the wildfire risk.
  • Be prepared to evacuate if it becomes necessary by gathering essential items and making them available for immediate access e.g.: medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers, immediate care needs, valuable keepsakes, photographs, etc.
  • In the event of a forest fire call 9-1-1

For further information or if you have any questions or concerns, contact the Fire Prevention Branch of the North Bay Fire and Emergency at 705 474-5662.

MNR Wildfire Protection

MNR Home Ignition Zone Poster

FireSmart Manual.pdf

FireSmart Home Assessment.pdf

Fire Smart Program

FireSmart Canada Home Page