2020 BC Wildfires

2020 BC Wildfires

August 04, 2020

 Wildfire status and updates

 BC Wildfire Service

Current Wildfire Situation webpage has information on specific wildfires, fire response efforts, and Fire Danger Ratings. Details on each fire include location, map, size, evacuation order status, and more. This website will have the most current information, as the fire situation changes over time. It also has a map of all active wildfires.

The BC Wildfire Service App (for Android and Apple (iOS) devices) is free to download and provides real-time wildfire information and an interactive map. It also shows fire danger ratings, active fires, evacuation orders and alerts, and has a fire reporting tool, etc. It can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store.

EmergencyInfoBC provides updates about evacuation alerts and orders, and official response and recovery resources. Provides links to evacuation alert/order details as specified by the Emergency Operations Centre of the relevant Regional District. Check  www.twitter.com/EmergencyInfoBC for updates.

WARNING: There have been issues with boaters interfering with firefighting aircraft on Shuswap Lake which is dangerous, both to people on the boat and to firefighting personnel, as it interferes with critical firefighting operations. Please stay away from active wildfire sites whether on the ground, in the air, or on the water.

Evacuation alerts and orders

August 4, 2020: An evacuation alert has been issued for the area (as BC Wildfire Service continues to respond to the Dry Lake wildfire within the #Merritt Fire Zone. The fire is estimated at 22 hectares in size and is located 24 kilometres northwest of #Princeton. For further information please refer to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen’s website: http://ow.ly/ofa150APSnw.

Regional Districts, communities, and First Nations bands have up-to-date information about evacuation alerts, orders, and rescinds. They also provide information about Emergency Social Services (ESS) and may assist with livestock relocation.

Fire Bans and Restrictions, and Regulations

Effective at 12 Noon on Friday, July 31, 2020 will be prohibited in the Cariboo Fire Centre (until 12 noon on September 30, 2020 or until the public is otherwise notified). Category 2 open burning as well as other equipment and activities will be prohibited. Category 3 open fires remain prohibited. For more information, including a map of the affected areas, please visit: http://ow.ly/WL7z30r1jHH

Effective at 12 Noon on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Category 2 and Category 3 open fires, as well as other equipment and activities will be prohibited throughout Kamloops Fire Centre (until the public is otherwise notified). Prohibited activities will include Category 2 open fires; Category 3 open fires; fireworks; sky lanterns; binary exploding targets; and burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description, except when used for a campfire as defined by the wildfire regulation. For more information, please visit: http://ow.ly/FBSs30r0tpz

Effective at 12 Noon on Friday, July 24, 2020, both Category 2 and Category 3 open burning will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre (until the public is otherwise notified). For more information, please visit: http://ow.ly/Y6AX30r0hYU

Effective at 12 Noon on Friday, July 24, 2020, most open burning activities will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction. Category 2 and Category 3 open burning will be prohibited with the exception being Category 3 open fires which will not be prohibited in Haida Gwaii. This prohibition does not apply to campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide, or smaller, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. This prohibition is being enacted to help reduce wildfire risk and protect public safety. For more information, please visit: http://ow.ly/wboi30qZROB

June 23, 2020: Each fire centre continually assesses whether there’s a need to restrict open burning, based on local fire hazards, weather conditions, and fire activity. To view current fire prohibitions and restrictions within each of the province’s six regional fire centres, fire bans and restrictions; click on icons below on the link. Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire. Anyone lighting a Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717.

Safe Camping Guidelines in Parks and Backcountry:

Visit BC Parks at http://ow.ly/n0BK30qHrW3. Includes information on camping, smoking restrictions, pets, vehicles and roadways, and canoeing and kayaking.

ESS reception centres

Emergency Management BC is responsible for setting up Emergency Social Services (ESS) reception centres where needed. Reception Centres provide immediate assistance with accommodations, food, medical or prescription support during an evacuation order. Check your evacuation order to see which reception centre to attend. For more information, call the Emergency Social Services (ESS) Call Centre at 1-800-585-9559.

Closures/delays in service

Road closures and conditions

BC Park closures: www.bcparks.ca
Recreation site and trail closures: www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca

Preparation/prevention

Human-caused fires: One primary cause of unnatural fire starts is mechanical, ranging from  hand-held devices such as flare guns or bear bangers, exhaust or backfire from motor engines, fragmented hot-metal, etc. (which can originate from activities that are unaffected by fire prohibitions).

July 16, 2020: As early as today with a final deadline of October 31, 2020, BC Wildfire Service crews will be burning piles of woody debris as part of an ongoing fuels management project near Quesnel. This fuels management project began in the spring as part of a plan to reduce wildfire risk in the area by eliminating available fuels. Burning will only occur if conditions are suitable and allow for quick smoke dissipation. For more information, visit: http://ow.ly/b5Rh30qZ4at

July 13, 2020: First Nations communities in BC are actively mitigating wildfire threats alongside FireSmart BC and the BCWildfire Service. Working on a variety of fuel management activities to reduce wildfire risks throughout BC, including the use of prescribed fire, a traditional First Nations method. This can help prevent large intense wildfires and replace them with more frequent, well-timed, well-planned, and low-intensity fires. Visit http://ow.ly/o3ZX50AwZVE

July 8, 2020: BC Wildfire Service crews in the Cariboo Fire Centre are planning to burn piles of accumulated woody debris near Williams Lake beginning as early as July 8, 2020 and ending as late as Sept 29, 2020. This work is part of an ongoing fuels management project to reduce wildfire risk in the area. These piles will only be lit if conditions are suitable and allow for quick smoke dissipation. For more information, visit http://ow.ly/noEi30qX7ak

June 26, 2020: In the upcoming weeks, the BC Wildfire Service will undertake a series of prescribed burns in the Lund Road Subdivision to help reduce wildfire risks. For more information, please refer to the latest information bulletin: http://ow.ly/mT1Y50AkW42

PreparedBC has tips on preparing for disaster and offers a Wildfire Preparedness Guide. Information is also available via  www.twitter.com/PreparedBC.  This includes preparing a household emergency kit and grab-and-go bag for each family member.

FireSmart BC offers resources on how to minimize risk from wildfire: activities that can be done while home.

A local FireSmart Representative and an Emergency Program Coordinator can meet with homeowners to assess their property.

FireSmart BC and Pioneerloghomes teamed up to share practical tips on how to better protect your home and community from the threat of wildfire. Learn more by visiting: firesmartbc.ca/bryan-reids-firesmart-tips/,  https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/firesmart-bc-prepare-homes-wildfire-season?auto=true, #GetFireSmart, or #FireSmartBC.

Government of BC has public safety and emergency services information on wildfire prevention such as prevention resources, being ‘firesmart’ (living in a fire-prone ecosystem and steps to protect family, property, and community from wildfire), and open fire, prohibitions and restrictions.

 Canadian Red Cross has a #BeReady App to prepare for emergencies like wildfires.

EmergencyInfoBC (https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/home/wildfire-preparedness/resources-for-farmers-ranchers/) provides information on resources for farmers and ranchers, including information to help livestock owners prepare for emergencies.

PremisesID program helps livestock owners track their animals and keep them safe.

Recovery after Wildfire

PreparedBC has tips on recovery information, also accessible via www.twitter.com/PreparedBC.

Returning Home After a Wildfire from PreparedBC.

Guide to Wildfire Recovery from Canadian Red Cross.

Other sources of information/support

BC Wildfire Service has seasonal outlook in terms of weather and possible wildfires. 

Emergency Info BC provides information on resources for farmers and ranchers, including information on livestock relocation.

BC Air Quality website provides information on air quality, including Air Quality Advisories, and the Air Quality Health Index across the province.  

BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) provides information on air pollution and how to prevent/minimize risk. Air pollution can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, and alter immune function, making it more difficult to fight respiratory infections including #COVID19. Also provides information on maintaining clean air in your home during wildfire season.

FireSmoke Canada provides information and resources about smoke from wildfires, including smoke forecasts of hourly ground-level concentrations of smoke particles up to 48 hours into the future.

Metro Vancouver provides information about air quality conditions and advisories for the region. For more details about air quality during wildfire smoke events, contact aqinfo@metrovancouver.org or 604-432-6200.

BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) provide information on wildfires and health including information on air quality.

BC Children’s Hospital provides information and tips on wildfire smoke and children.

BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre provides health information and tips for pregnant women during wildfires, including information on wildfire pollutants and stress.

First Nations Emergency Services Society (FNESS) works with First Nations communities, provincial and federal governments, agencies, and various stakeholders to assist with wildfire prevention and emergency management for First Nations communities.

HealthLinkBC provides non-emergency health information and advice at 8-1-1 by phone, website, or mobile app.

310Mental Health Support provides a province-wide mental health helpline for those in need of emotional support. Available 24/7. Call 310-6789 (no area code required).

Canadian Mental Health Association (BC Division) offers tips on coping with natural disaster stress, supporting family/friends, free community talks in the Interior and North, and resources. Also offers BC Disaster Stress Facebook page. Email: disaster.stress@cmha.bc.ca.

BC Hydro provides power outage updates and information on emergency preparation. When returning home after evacuation, call 1-888-POWERON (1-888-769-3766) if you experience problems with your power.

FortisBC provides information about dealing with electricity and natural gas during wildfires and evacuations.

Insurance Bureau of Canada answers insurance questions for people affected by BC wildfires.

WorkSafeBC offers a publication on Wildfire Smoke: Frequently Asked Questions for employers.

Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART), Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (ALERT) and BCSPCA provide disaster response services for domesticated animals, by providing sheltering, fostering, or rescue of animals.

BC Agri-Business Planning Program assists farmers and ranchers to better understand the adverse effects of wildfires on their current production and financial situation, to enable them to implement immediate and long-term recovery plan.

BC & Alberta Emergency Livestock/Animal/Horse Evacuation Support Group Facebook page was created for evacuees who need help and for those who are able to offer help (informal).

BC Wildfire Evacuee Support Group Facebook page compiles information and offers of help (informal).

Update August 04, 2020