Be FireSmart: Get the latest wildfire news
Be FireSmart: You have the power to prevent catastrophic wildfires
- Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres, or 19 inches by 19 inches.
- You MUST have a shovel or at least eight litres of water nearby to extinguish your fire.
- You MUST create a firebreak. That means creating a one-metre
debris-free area around your fire by scraping down to the dirt.
- Ensure your campfire is completely extinguished, and the ashes are cool to the touch, before leaving an area.
Limiting campfires and open burning helps prevent wildfires. Bans and restrictions are typically implemented during extremely dry conditions and in anticipation of lightning strikes.
Phone It In
Did you know that nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. are reported by the public? It's as easy as calling *5555 on your cell if you spot smoke, flames or an unattended campfire.
Be FireSmart: Protect your property during wildfire season
More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings - in or near forests, grasslands or mountains. While beautiful, these locations come with a greater wildfire threat.
Ensure that your home insurance is up-to-date and includes adequate coverage for damage from fire. You can also reduce the risk and help protect your property by planning ahead. Start by completing a risk assessment in B.C.'s FireSmart Manual. You'll find important preparedness tips, including:
- Create a 10-metre, "fuel-free" space around your home by removing mature trees, shrubs, grass and woodpiles.
- Between 10 and 30 metres, reduce the risk of combustion by thinning and pruning surrounding trees.
- Clean your roof and gutters regularly and remove any vines from the walls of your home.
Many farms and ranches are located in wildland-urban interface areas, where forests and grasslands meet cities and towns. Good planning is key to protecting these valuable assets.
- Obtain insurance coverage for all farm resources at risk from fire. Disaster financial assistance is limited and only covers uninsurable perils.
- Maintain a "fuel-reduced" area where livestock can be moved and contained during a fire.
- If that's not possible, ensure that you have an evacuation plan for livestock by arranging transportation and feed in advance.
Be FireSmart: Could you evacuate your home on short notice?
When wildfires strike, there may not be time to gather emergency supplies. Ensure that you have grab-and-go kits for your home, office and vehicle. They should all contain water and supplies for a minimum of 72 hours.
Have a plan
A family plan will help you cope with the stress of evacuation alerts and orders due to
wildfires or any other natural disaster. Start your plan today, keeping these key components in mind:
- Identify safe exits from your home and neighbourhood;
- Pre-determine a meeting place to re-unite with family;
- Choose an out-of-area friend as a "check-in contact" for everyone to call. Carry their contact info with you; and
- Practice, practice, practice. Review your plan regularly so everyone knows it by heart!
Be FireSmart: What to do when a wildfire threatens your community
- B.C.'s forests and wildlands cover nearly a million square kilometres.
- Confronted by an average of 2,000 wildfires each year, B.C. crews contain 92 per cent of them within the first 24 hours of discovery.
- Wildland fires can spread at an astonishing rate. Crowning forest fires have been clocked at more than six kilometres per hour, with spotting as far as two kilometres ahead.
- Nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. result from human carelessness. The other half is caused by lightning strikes.