Following a week-long extreme heatwave in BC, and the tragic fire in Lytton which has destroyed the entire town, the CRD has compiled a few tips on how people can not only prevent wildfires, but also what to do when they spot one.
As of today, there are no active wildfires on Vancouver Island, however, there are roughly 90 active fires across the province with nine fires that have been deemed a potential threat to public safety.
Here are some helpful tips on what you can do when it comes to wildfires:
Ensure you have an emergency plan
You can never be over prepared and sometimes accidents happen.
Having a plan of action if a wildfire were to occur is just as important as having a fire extinguisher handy.
So plot muster points and have a safety plan which includes shelter, food, and clothing.
Protect yourself and you can protect others.
Ensure your home is protected
Ensure your home is protected from any flammable debris outside your house.
The CRD suggests that if you live in or near a forested area, or in an interface zone, make sure your home is protected by removing debris from the roof and maintaining a safety zone around your house clear of flammable debris, shrubs or trees.
Move other flammable materials like wood piles or propane tanks well away from your house and outbuildings.
Check your home insurance policy to make sure that you have the appropriate coverage.
Know the Danger
BC can be rife with wildfire danger, and if you’re planning to hike, camp, or go to the backcountry, check travel restrictions and fire bans, they’re there for a reason.
Extended warm, dry weather conditions increase the possibility of wildfire activity.
Know the fire danger rating before heading out, make sure your campfire is completely extinguished and the embers are cold before leaving your campsite; also, ensure cigarette butts are put out properly in an ashtray and not tossed away carelessly.
If you spot a wildfire, report it as soon as possible by calling 1.800.663.5555 or *5555 on your cell phone.