Getting ready before a wildfire

If you're in an area that is prone to wildfire, or you just want to be proactive, there are a number of activities you can complete to prevent or prepare for a wildfire.

On this page

Prepare your home

We all play a critical role in mitigating wildfire risks around their homes and properties by undertaking FireSmart activities. Simple actions can decrease the intensity of a wildfire and slow its spread. This helps stop buildings from being damaged in a fire.

Complete the FireSmart home assessment to see what changes will make the greatest difference in reducing your home’s risk.

Camp responsibly

Nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. are caused by human carelessness. You can prevent them by following a few simple rules:

  • Check for bans and restrictions
  • Do not make a campfire larger than half a square metre
  • Keep a shovel or at least eight litres of water nearby to extinguish your fire
  • Create a firebreak by scraping down to the dirt and removing debris at least one-metre around your fire
  • Never leave a campfire unattended
  • Ensure your campfire is completely out and the ashes cool to touch before you leave the area
  • Call toll-free 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your mobile phone if you spot smoke, flames or an unattended campfire

Make an emergency plan

An emergency plan says how you and your household will respond to disasters, including wildfires. Knowing what to do will reduce anxiety and help keep you safe.

Make grab-and-go bags

If a wildfire happens, you may need to leave home quickly. A grab-and-go bag is a small version of your emergency kit that you can take with you.

Research insurance coverage

Having insurance can protect you from having to pay out a huge amount in the event of a natural disaster. Home insurance policies in B.C. cover fire damage and losses. Call your insurance representative to discuss your coverage or contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422.

Disaster Financial Assistance is not available for losses due to wildfire, which is why it’s important to discuss coverage with an insurance company or representative. If you leave your home due to a mandatory evacuation order, most homeowner and tenant insurance policies will provide coverage for reasonable living expenses for a specified time. 

Prepare your farm or agricultural business

Wildfires can have devastating consequences for the agricultural industry. Having a response plan is critical, especially when livestock relocation may be required. It’s up to agricultural producers, like all business managers, to have a comprehensive strategy to manage the risks they face.