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Coquitlam's risk rating is 'high' for wildfires. Here's how you can prevent them

Thousands of Coquitlam homes border a wildland-urban interface, meaning they could be exposed to big fires each summer.
Coquitlam fire rating stand - high June 30, 2021
Coquitlam's current fire-risk rating is "High," as of July 6, 2023.

The following was submitted to the Tri-City News from the City of Coquitlam on behalf of Shawn Davidson, deputy chief of Coquitlam Fire/Rescue.

Coquitlam's current fire-risk rating is now rated as "high."

Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is reminding homeowners who live near green spaces that there are simple steps they can take to help prevent wildfires. 

Many homes in Coquitlam are located where wilderness and development meet, which means that fires can easily spread between vegetation and structures. 

Homeowners who live near these green spaces are encouraged to take action to help prevent a wildfire from starting on, or spreading to, their property.

Tips to reduce fire risks

  • Reduce the amount of fuel present around your homes; prune your shrubs, remove dead and dry vegetation, and tree limbs 2–3 metres from the ground
  • Keep the roof and gutters clear of dead needles; prune branches that hang over the roof
  • Break up continuous vegetation and space out planting so there is no direct line of vegetation leading to your home, garage or any outbuilding or structure
  • Relocate debris or firewood at least 10 m away from your home
  • Be aware when mowing your lawn that if the blade comes into contact with a rock, it can cause a spark that may ignite a fire
  • Do not litter cigarette butts or do any outdoor burning 
  • Ensure your vehicle's exhaust does not blow onto a dry lawn

Wildfire preparedness

In 2021, Coquitlam in partnership with Anmore, Belcarra and Port Coquitlam were recipients of a joint grant request to B.C.'s FireSmart Economic Recovery Fund.

More than two years, more than 7,000 properties at a greater risk for wildfires located in the wildland–urban interface area received direct door-to-door information on wildfire preparedness. 

Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is asking residents to take steps that can both reduce and limit the risk of fire in our community by adhering to City bylaws that ban open air burning, littering cigarette butts and smoking in parks.

Coquitlam bylaw enforcement officers patrol the city's green spaces and parks and may issue $500 fines for smoking, including vaping and cannabis, in city parks.

Littering of cigarette butts can also result in a fine of $150. 

All residents and park users are asked to take precautions against accidental fires and be alert to signs of fire. Report any signs of smoke or fire by calling 911 immediately.

For more safety information, you can visit the interface fire page of the City of Coquitlam's website