Fire Smart

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  Recommended FireSmart Trees & Shrubs for the RM of Victoria Beach

The RM of Victoria Beach is located within the Boreal Shield and this zone is dominated by forests. The dominant coniferous species (evergreen trees with cones and needles) in our area are black spruce, jack pine, white spruce, tamarack and balsam fir. The most common deciduous (leafy) species in our area are trembling aspen, green ash, white birch and poplar.

Most of the properties within our municipality do not allow for the FireSmart recommended 30 meter buffer from our homes. Pruning branches 2 or 3 meters from the ground, removing deadfall and dead or dying trees from our yards and replacing conifers with deciduous trees will make a big FireSmart difference.

For important, factual information on trees native to Manitoba, best FireSmart practices for homeowners, including fire-resistant landscaping, please see the following publications:

The FireSmart Home Owners’ Manual   

FireSmart Guide to Landscaping

Manitoba Be FireSmart: A Guide to Landscaping Practices That Protect Your Home From Wildfires

The Field Guide to Trees in Manitoba

Trees to Remove and Avoid Planting:

Evergreen / coniferous trees with cones and needles are highly flammable and should not be within 10 metres of your home. If these trees ignite within 10 metres of your home, the direct flames and intense heat can cause damage or even ignite your home. 

Avoid planting:                                     Characteristics of Highly Flammable Plants:

  • Spruce / Juniper                             -  Leaves or needles are aromatic
  • Fir / Pine                                          -  Accumulates fine, dry, dead material
  • Cedar                                               -  Contain resin or oils
  • Tall grass                                         -  Loose papery bark or flakey bark

Fire Resistant Deciduous (leafy) Trees

Recommended to Plant:                    Characteristics of Fire-Resistant Plants:

  • Poplar / Birch                                  -   Moist, supple leaves
  • Aspen / Cottonwood                     -   Accumulates minimal dead vegetation

Recommended to Plant:                    Characteristics of Fire-Resistant Plants:

  • Maples / Alders                               -   Water-like sap with little odour
  • Ash                                                    -    Low amount of sap or resin material
  • Cherry                                               -    A mowed lawn is a fire-resistant lawn.


Landscaping Mulch

Bark mulch and pine needles should not be used within 10 meters of your home as they are highly combustible. Gravel mulch and decorative crushed rock mulch significantly reduce the risk of wildfire.


A surface fire can climb trees quickly. Removing/pruning branches within 2 metres of the ground will help stop surface fires from moving into the tree tops. When possible, leaving a buffer of 10 meters between trees and your home will also be beneficial.

Shoreline Properties - recommended to plant by soil type

Leafy trees and plants with long root systems help stabilize and protect shorelines and banks, help filter run-off, deflect rain and enhance the natural shoreline. The following information was copied from Love Your Lake,

Sandy, dry soil: Bush honeysuckle (native), Smooth Wild Rose, Shadblow Serviceberry, Common Spicebush, Snowberry, Fragrant Sumac


Sandy, wet soil: Willow’s (pussy willow, black willow, shrubby willow, sandbar willow), Wild Black Currant, Silver Maple, Swamp Rose, Red Osier Dogwood, Showy Mountain-ash, Speckled Alder, Sweet Gale, Tamarack, Bunchberry, Buttonbush


Clay, moist, wet soil: Silky Dogwood, Black Chokeberry, Black Elderberry, Grey Dogwood, Highbush Cranberry, Meadowsweet


Clay, Dry soil: Red Oak, Smooth Wild Rose, Witch Hazel, Saskatoon Serviceberry, Snowberry, Sugar Maple


Loamy, moist, wet soil: Highbush Cranberry, Sweet Gale, Meadowsweet, Swamp Rose, Red Osier Dogwood, Buttonbush, Various Willows


Loamy, dry soil: Bush Honeysuckle, Smooth Wild Rose, Shadblow Serviceberry, Common Spicebush, Red Oak, Saskatoon Serviceberry, Snowberry, Fragrant Sumac