Over the last century, human activity has altered the natural disturbance patterns and ecological processes that occur regularly in our heavily forested region. Accumulation of hazardous and highly flammable fuel, as well as expansion of communities into forested areas has meant that the risk to human populations is increasing. The SLRD is working to address this risk through the wildfire fuel management program, but once a fire starts it can be very unpredictable. Human activities are the cause of most wildfires, so it is very important to know what you can do to prevent them, and to have a plan if a fire is threatening your home.
- Develop a household emergency plan and assign specific safety tasks to family members. Practice your household emergency plan every six months.
- Put together an emergency kit to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, but aim for one week. Keep a kit in your vehicle, and at school or work.
- Plan a family meeting spot and have an contact, such as a family member in another region, to check in with if you become separated.
- Get training in emergency preparedness and first aid.
- Keep your vehicle in working order and always have at least half a tank of gas.
- Pay attention to notices of danger and information updates on radio, TV and the internet.
- Obey fire bans and pay attention to wildfire risk signs which are often seen on highways or main roads.
- Plan escape routes by car and by foot.
- Learn how to protect your home from wildfires with BC’s FireSmart manual.
- If you see a wildfire, dial 9-1-1.
- Stay tuned to local media and get ready to evacuate at any time. Leave cars unlocked with windows shut.
- If you have time before you evacuate and feel it is safe, you should:
- Move flammable items away from your home;
- Turn off any gas or propane;
- Leave lights in your house on so firefighters can locate it in the dark;
- Connect garden hoses to outside faucets;
- Close windows, vents, doors, and window coverings that are not flammable;
- Remove flammable curtains and leave doors unlocked;