BC wildfires, fire danger, restrictions & preparedness

UPDATE: August 15, 2017 (4:15 p.m.)

  • Highway 99 between Lillooet and the junction with Highway 97 (north of Cache Creek) has re-opened. 

UPDATE: August 15, 2017 (11:30 a.m.)

  • The Evacuation Order issued on August 4th for 7 properties in the vicinity of Pear and Kelly Lakes in SLRD Electoral Area B has been lifted. However, the area remains on Evacuation Alert at this time. 
  • Highway 99 (northbound) remains closed in both directions between Lillooet (Hwy 12 junction) and Marble Canyon due to the Elephant Hill wildfire. There is limited access for local traffic with pilot vehicles. Expect lengthy delays. Check www.drivebc.ca (Hwy 99) for updates

UPDATE: August 4, 2017 (8:00 a.m.)

  • An Evacuation Order has been issued for 7 properties on Pear Lake Road in SLRD Electoral Area B.
  • The Evacuation Alert noted below remains in place for properties in the vicinity of Pavilion Lake.
  • A State of Local Emergency has been declared for Electoral Area B and the SLRD's Emergency Operations Centre has been activated in response to the threat. 
  • Highway 99 (northbound) is CLOSED in both directions at Lillooet (Hwy 12 junction) to the junction with Highway 97 (Hat Creek junction), due to the forest fire. Local traffic can still access Highway 99 from the Lillooet side only. Please be prepared to show proof of residence. There is no access to Highway 99 from the Highway 97 side (Cache Creek or Clinton). Highway 99 south from Lillooet through the Sea to Sky Corridor remains OPEN. Check www.drivebc.ca for updates.

UPDATE: August 3, 2017 (10:30 a.m.) 

  • An Evacuation Alert has been issued for approximately 74 properties in the vicinity of Pavilion Lake, West Pavilion, Pear and Kelly Lakes in Electoral Area B of the SLRD. Learn more here
  • Highway 99 remains open at this time. Check www.drivebc.ca for updates

On July 7, 2017 the Province of BC announced a provincial state of emergency regarding the current wildfire situation. Evacuation Orders and Alerts are affecting several communities across BC's Interior region, including in the Thompson-NicolaCariboo and Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Districts. Our thoughts are with the many families and communities impacted by these devastating fires. 

Currently, there are no wildfires of note burning within the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD). [August 3 update: However, an Evacuation Alert was issued today for 74 properties in the vicinity of Pavilion, Pear and Kelly Lakes in SLRD Area B due to current weather conditions and fire behaviour forecasts.] As well, smoke from several of these large wildfires may be impacting many parts of the SLRD, depending on wind direction. 

With the current wildfire situation in the Province of BC, and the elevated wildfire risk in the SLRD, it's important that residents, property owners, industry and commercial operators be vigilant and prepared.

The information and resource links below have been compiled from official sources, to help you stay informed about what's happening and how it could impact you, and better understand your obligations and responsibilities with respect to fire use, prevention, and preparedness.

Wildfire prevention and emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility. Thank you for doing your part to protect the health and safety of our communities and forests. 


BC Wildfire Service - Resource Links

Current Wildfire Situation

  • Current wildfire status
  • Interactive map of all active wildfires across the province
  • NOTE: While the BC Wildfire Service has deployed additional resources to the Interior to help fight the large fires there, sufficient firefighters and equipment will remain in the Coastal Fire Centre (covering SLRD Areas C, D, the Village of Pemberton, Resort Municipality of Whistler and District of Squamish) and the Lillooet Fire Zone (Kamloops Fire Centre; covering SLRD Areas A, B and the District of Lillooet) to maintain first response capability.

Open Burning - bans and restrictions

High Risk Activities - Including forestry activities on private land

The BC Wildfire Act applies on both public and private land. It is your responsibility to review and understand the Act and corresponding Wildfire Regulation.

Under the Wildfire Act, “a person who carries out a high risk activity on or within 300m of forest land or grass land on or after March 1 and before November 1, unless the area is snow covered, must determine the Fire Danger Class for the location of the activity.”

Given the heightened risk, property owners as well as industry and commercial operators must exercise extreme caution when conducting activities that are considered "high risk" in forest and / or interface areas. 

The Province of B.C. has developed a 3-Step process to help you determine your obligations concerning high risk activities.

  • Step 1: First, you need to determine whether the activity you have planned is considered a high risk activity. High risk activities are defined in the Wildfire Regulation, and include activities such as: mechanical brushing, preparation or use of explosives, using fire- or spark-producing tools (including cutting tools, welding, and power saws), using or preparing fireworks or pyrotechnics, grinding, mechanical land clearing, clearing and maintaining rights of way (including grass mowing), and mechanical tree felling. Learn more here.    
  • Step 2: Next, if the activity planned is considered high risk, you need to determine the fire danger rating in your area. It's important that you use the representative weather data for the area in which you operate. Check the fire danger rating for your area - updated daily at 2 pm. 
  • Step 3: And finally, based on the fire danger rating, you need to determine whether there are restrictions on high risk activities. Schedule 3 of the Wildfire Regulations outlines Restrictions on High Risk Activities

If you have questions about high risk activities, please contact the Senior Protection Officer — Prevention at your local fire centre for further information:

BC Wildfire Service on Social Media


Provincial Travel & Road Updates

  • Drive BC - Information about road closures, major events and travel delays
  • Drive BC on Twitter - @DriveBC
  • BC Transportation on Twitter - @TranBC

Weather Alerts and Warnings


BC Parks, Recreation Sites and Trails


How you can help

Donate:

  • Red Cross - BC Fires Appeal
  • CanadaHelps.org - 2017 BC Wildfires
  • Food Banks BC - BC Wildfire Support
  • If you live in the Lillooet area, the Lillooet Chamber of Commerce and the District of Lillooet are working together to collect donations for those impacted by the wildfires. Bring your donations of pet supplies, toiletries and non-perishable items to Buy-Low Foods, Lillooet Feed & Garden, Pharmasave, Fields or IDA Pharmacy. Cayuse Transportation has graciously agreed to deliver the donations to Kamloops (pet supplies will go to the BC SPCA and other items will go to the Food Bank). 

Volunteer:

  • The District of Lillooet Emergency Program has issued a call for willing and able people to register as volunteers for various jobs should the Lillooet area be called upon to assist with evacuees. If you live in the District of Lillooet or SLRD Area B, learn how you can get involved. 
  • TNRD Volunteer Connections on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TNRDvolunteerconnections/
  • If you see a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour, report it! 
    • Call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone. 

Emergency Preparedness Resources

SLRD Alert - Emergency Notification Service

SLRD Alert is a free emergency notification service available to all residents living in SLRD Areas A, B, C and D. You'll receive severe weather warnings, evacuation alerts, evacuation orders, instructions, and other important information specific to your community by email, text message or voice message. Register today.  

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency. Learn more here.

72-Hour Emergency Kit

An Emergency Kit is a crucial part of being properly prepared in the event of a disaster. Your kit should contain enough food, water and supplies to meet the needs of you and/or your family for at least three days. Learn how to create an Emergency Kit here.

FireSmart your property

Wildfires are a risk for all BC residents, but you can learn how to minimize this threat here.

Be Evacuation Ready

If you receive an Evacuation Alert, you do not need to leave your home, but you must get ready to leave. Sign up for SLRD Alert, stay tuned to www.slrd.bc.ca or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates and instructions. Learn more here.

Inside the SLRD > Spotlight > BC wildfires, fire danger, restrictions & preparedness