Tips to Prevent Grass and Bark Mulch Fires

Recent grass fires in Greater Victoria, including Beacon Hill Park last weekend, are a reminder of how unseasonably dry parks and residential yards are this year. In Victoria, the Fire Department has had a 100% increase in reported bark mulch fires this year over last year.

With warmer temperatures and sunny skies continuing in the forecast, grass, shrubs and bark mulch are very dry and can easily be ignited by a tossed cigarette butt, or by glass and metal that can magnify or reflect sunlight. Although small mulch fires are easily extinguished, an unchecked fire can spread to trees and buildings, endangering human life and causing damage to homes and public buildings.

Below are some tips to prevent grass and bark mulch fires from starting in Victoria parks and residential gardens:

  • Properly discard cigarette butts and make sure they're completely out before walking away.
  • Never throw a lit cigarette out the window of a vehicle.
  • Properly discard glass jars and bottles.
  • Avoid parking your vehicle on dry grass or bark mulch, and avoid driving through long grass.
  • Avoid placing your gas or charcoal barbecue on grass or bark mulch.
  • Keep bark mulch moist and avoid placing decorative lights or electric devices nearby.

The community is asked to use extra care this summer.