That's the message Langford, B.C., fire chief Bob Beckett wants to get across to people living close to forests or who have their homes surrounded by trees.
"If you're looking at a fire that is a kilometre away, it literally could be at your doorstep within minutes, even with the best efforts of the men and women of our fire department," Beckett told All Points West.
Beckett says there are many things people can do to protect or reduce the risk of damage to their homes if a wildfire strikes.
Reduce fuel around your home
"Have a 10-yard buffer where there literally is no trees or bushes that would whip the fire up against your home," said Beckett.
"For the next 10 to 30 metres, you want to thin some of the trees out so that again, you're reducing the fuel."
Clean the gutters
"You don't want pine needles and leaves and other flammable materials that fly-ash and embers can get into and start a fire," Beckett said.
"Have a charged hose readily available and an evacuation route," Beckett said.
For more information on how to protect your home from interface fires, check out the provincial government's Home Owners FireSmart Manual.
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