Skip to content

'High' fire rating in Coquitlam prompts safety reminder for homeowners, park visitors

Coquitlam Fire Chief Jim Ogloff is reminding residents to keep safety top of mind when conducting home renovations or landscaping, as well as in local parks this summer.

As the heat wave comes to an end and a more seasonal summer settles in, more Coquitlam homeowners taking advantage of the weather.

This could mean working outside on expanding their garden or mowing the lawn, or even on the inside conducting a renovation they've wanted to complete for some time.

However, Coquitlam is currently at a "HIGH" fire rating and Fire Rescue crews are encouraging residents to take all precautions when putting boots to the ground in order to avoid potential blaze risks, especially for those that live near wooded areas.

"Homes that encroach on forests and wildlands are particularly at risk of wildfire spread between vegetation and structures," says Fire Chief Jim Ogloff in a news release.

"All homeowners should consult local bylaws and registered covenants on the use of materials and design approaches prior to building construction."

Additionally, Ogloff is reminding everyone of the potential fire risks when venturing through local parks and trails.

Violating the city's bylaws on smoking in parks (and yes, that includes vaping and cannabis) could result in a fine of up to $500, or $150 for littering cigarette butts.

For more information, you're encouraged to visit the fire safety page on the city of Coquitlam's website and to call 911 if you see any signs of smoke or fire.

Ogloff provides the following tips to avoid igniting a fire during home renos:


  • Provide adequate personal protection during construction, including hot-works safety practices during welding, roofing and plumbing installations
  • Have a required construction fire safety plan
  • Use fire-resistant materials when replacing a roof to provide more protection
    • Options include concrete tile, slate, metal and terra-cotta
  • Use non-combustible or fire-resistant materials when building decks, and cover with solid surfaces as opposed to slotted surfaces that allow needles and other flammable materials to accumulate below the deck
  • Ensure that outdoor structures, such as gazebos, have at least nine metres separation from the house or other structures
  • Relocate flammable debris at least 10 metres away from the home
  • Don't toss cigarette butts or do any outdoor burning


  • Refrain from planting or landscaping with highly flammable trees such as evergreens and bark mulch
  • Opt instead for Fire-Smart choices:
    • Deciduous shrubs or trees
    • Succulent plants
    • Slow-growing plants that have thick, woody stems and are situated well away from the home
  • Use decorative rock mulch or lava stones around any shrubbery that is within two metres of your house
  • Use gardens and flower beds as effective fire breaks