Local fire chief knows it’s important to be FireSmart

Miscouche Fire Chief Jason Woodbury and provincial FireSmart coordinator Emily Foster

When Jason Woodbury heard about the FireSmart™ Canada program, he jumped at the chance to be a part of it. 

Jason, who is the Fire Chief in Miscouche, is also a former member of the Nova Scotia Forestry Department and knows better than most how important it is to be FireSmart. 

FireSmart™ Canada is a national program that helps Canadians increase resilience to wildfire and minimize its negative impacts. With a changing climate, the threat of wildfire has increased significantly for everyone, including those living outside of dense forests. 

As any fire chief knows, information on how to protect family and community is key to fire safety. That’s where this program really shines. 
FireSmart™ Canada has developed a practical, effective, and science-based program that provides communities with tools to be better prepared when wildfires occurs. Jason is familiar with FireSmart and he helped the Community of Miscouche set up three town hall meetings for residents.

“People were interested in finding out how they can protect their homes and properties. We really had a great cross-section of people wanting to take part."

The community learned about the Home Ignition Zone: the area within 30 metres of your home. Changes made within the first 10 meters of the home will have the biggest impact on protecting your home during a wildfire. 

Small changes can increase the resiliency of your residence. 

Jason says homeowners are particularly interested in the yard and landscaping information.  “You want to keep fire on the ground. Once embers are flying in the air, the risk of wildfire increases dramatically.”  

That’s why keeping brush and dead plant material away from homes, trees and other vegetation is important. These things can act as fuel for a wildfire. 

As communities and homes move further into the forest, the greater the risk of being impacted by wildfires. 

Selectively removing evergreen trees to create at least three metres of horizontal space between the single or grouped tree crowns is a great start. This applies to homes but can also be very effective for community buildings like town halls and buildings that house recreational activities. 

Another important thing to keep in mind as people start to get their gardens ready for spring is that mulch is highly flammable.  

Jason urges people to use soil or rocks for their flowerbeds. Unlike mulch, these materials are less likely to catch fire.

“Mulch gets so hot that it and can smoke and ignite spontaneously.” 

In some communities, there are bylaws that ban the use of mulch in your garden, so he encourages people to check with their local community about bylaws and to follow FireSmart practices.

Find out more about the FireSmart™ Canada program, or contact Emily Foster, the provincial FireSmart coordinator, at

Media contact:
Katie Cudmore
Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action

General Inquiries

Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division
J. Frank Gaudet Tree Nursery
183 Upton Road
Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6450

Wildlife Emergencies:

Like us on Facebook

Call 911 to report wildfires.