How you can help
Reducing the risk of wildfires in B.C. is something that everybody can participate in. Below are some of the ways you can help BC Wildfire Service.
Report wildfires and dangerous activity
The general public is a huge asset to the BC Wildfire Service. Approximately 40% of new fires are reported by the people who live, work and play in B.C.
Reporting wildfires or dangerous activities that might cause wildfires is a great way for you to help the BC Wildfire Service. The sooner a wildfire is reported, the sooner response operations can begin.
To report a wildfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll free or *5555 on a cell phone (save the number in your phone contacts!). Reports are sent directly to the regional fire centre so that response can be initiated as quickly as possible.
Check out the Wildfire detection page to learn more about the questions you might be asked when reporting a fire.
Prevent wildfires from starting
Approximately 40% of wildfires in B.C. are caused by human activity. These fires are preventable.
You can help prevent wildfires by:
- Following fire bans and restrictions
- Paying close attention to weather and fuel conditions prior to starting a fire even if fires are allowed at the time
- Practicing responsible forest and land use
Follow rules and guidelines from authorities
Wildfires in B.C. can be very disruptive events. Wildfire activity can change the way you work, live and play in B.C.'s natural environment.
Local and provincial authorities like the BC Wildfire Service, regional districts, municipalities and other agencies establish rules, guidelines, recommendations and orders designed to keep people safe.
Here are some examples:
- Evacuation alerts and orders
- Land and forest use guidelines
- Fire bans and restrictions
- Area restrictions
You can help the BC Wildfire Service and partner agencies by observing these guidelines and following rules.
Use FireSmart techniques
If you are a home or land owner, one of the best ways you can help the BC Wildfire Service is by using FireSmart techniques around your property.
FireSmart techniques improve the chances of property surviving a direct threat by wildfire. They also make it safer for response crews to work around your property.
Some of the things you can do to FireSmart your home are:
- Reduce the flammability of your landscaping
- Keep grass short and remove extra fuel around your hose and yard
- Clean out debris from gutters and under decks
- Move firewood 10-30 meters away from structures
- Add non-combustible screens to external vents
- And more!
Donations and other offers of support
BC Wildfire Service and its personnel are grateful to the people of British Columbia for their offers of support each season. However, BC Wildfire Service crews and personnel are not permitted to accept monetary gifts or other donations.
Donations of food, supplies, equipment or other services should not be provided without prior direct arrangement.
In most cases, these items and services are provided through contractors that supply the BC Wildfire Service. Procurement and planning staff ensure wildfire crews have what they need to respond to wildfire events effectively, including adequate food, water, washrooms and showers.
If you are interested in giving donations to support people affected by wildfires in B.C., agencies like the Canadian Red Cross provide options for donation.