Many wildfires in B.C. occur far from cities and towns, but sometimes they threaten homes, businesses and infrastructure. Help keep your family safe by preparing in advance for a potential evacuation alert or order. Develop a household plan, put together your emergency kit and connect with your neighbours.
Nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. are caused by human carelessness. You can make a difference by following a few simple rules.
- Heed prohibitions: check for bans and restrictions before striking the match
- Camp responsibly: In B.C., campfires can’t be larger than 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres. Keep a shovel or at least eight litres of water nearby to extinguish your fire, and don’t forget to create a firebreak. That means making a one-metre debris-free area around your fire by scraping down to the dirt. Before leaving, ensure your campfire is completely out and the ashes cool to touch. Check out this video to learn more
- Phone it in: call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell if you spot smoke, flames or an unattended campfire
- Evacuation Order: You are at risk. Leave the area immediately. Local police or RCMP enforce evacuation orders. You are encouraged to register all family members at the reception centre so, emergency responders know that you are safe
- Evacuation Alert: Be ready to leave on short notice. If you leave before or during this alert, it’s called a voluntary evacuation
- Evacuation Rescinded: All is currently safe and you can return home. Stay tuned for other possible evacuation alerts or orders
Wildfires can impact backcountry recreation, resulting in area closures or restrictions. Campers and provincial park visitors should check with BC Parks for fire restrictions and closures and recreation site and trail users can check with Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
FireSmart Your Property
More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings. While beautiful, these locations come with a greater wildfire risk. Ensure your home insurance is up-to-date and includes adequate coverage for fire damage. You can also help protect your property by planning ahead. Start by completing a risk assessment in BC’s FireSmart Manual.