The BC Wildfire Service is internationally recognised as a leader in wildfire management and is known for its skilled and committed personnel, uncompromising safety attitude, and innovative use of technology.
British Columbia’s forests and wildland cover over 94 million hectares (nearly a million square kilometres) and are the most diverse in Canada. Confronted by an average of 1,600 wildfires each year, highly trained fire crews are successful in containing 94 percent of all wildfires (rank 1-4) in B.C. by 10 am the following day.
The majority of wildfires in British Columbia are quickly contained and extinguished by personnel on the ground. For larger fires, or when access is difficult, aircraft may assist ground crews by dropping retardant, foam and/or water to help contain the fire. At times of heightened fire activity additional support from other jurisdictions may also be called upon.
When a wildfire does not threaten public safety, property or other values, a wildfire may (as a naturally occurring event) be deemed beneficial and therefore warrant a modified response, with crews monitoring and managing a fire, rather than fighting it.