British Columbians should remain alert to the threat of wildfires as conditions remain warm and dry throughout September.
Seasonal and above-seasonal temperatures forecast for September mean that wildfire risk remains a concern throughout the province. New wildfire starts are anticipated, however, the BC Wildfire Service has adequate resources and is prepared to activate additional resources if required.
As of Aug. 31, 2022, there were 182 active wildfires in the province. There is currently one wildfire of note, the Fat Dog Creek wildfire (V12147) in EC Manning Provincial Park. The BC Wildfire Service is also responding to a wildfire five kilometres southwest of the Hudson’s Hope bridge in the Prince George Fire Centre.
A wildfire of note is classified as a wildfire that is especially visible or poses a threat to public safety. For the latest information on these incidents, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status
Since April 1, 2022, there have been 1,355 wildfires in B.C. that have resulted in 43,000 hectares burned. Of these 1,355 wildfires, 93% are out, under control or being held. As many as 75% of the fire starts can be attributed to lightning.
Over the same time period last year, reflecting the extreme conditions faced in the province, there had been 1,562 fires with 865,298 hectares burned.
The number of wildfires and area burned are lower than the 20-year average for British Columbia at this time of year, which is 1,515 fires, and notably, 259,601 hectares burned.
“B.C. is currently experiencing one of the lowest human-caused wildfire seasons since 1950. Together with the BC Wildfire Service, I want to commend the public on their safe fire use and diligence in helping to prevent the spread of fire. We’re asking all British Columbians to continue the great work they have been doing this season as we stay vigilant over the Labour Day weekend and for the remainder of the 2022 fire season,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “I also want to thank all BC Wildfire Service staff, contractors, First Nations and industry partners for your service this season to protect communities.”
If there is a fire in your community, call (toll-free) 1 800 663-5555 (or *5555 from a cellphone) or use the Report of Fire function on the BC Wildfire Service app as soon as possible.
Information from the public is crucial to the effectiveness of the BC Wildfire Service’s response. Provide any information you can and expect to be asked details about the fire. If using the mobile app, submit with a photo. Reports with a photo allow the BC Wildfire Service to quickly assess and narrow down the location of the fire.
If you are under an evacuation order, follow directions from your First Nation or local government. You can register with Emergency Support Services (ESS) online: https://ess.gov.bc.ca/
“We were prepared for a challenging wildfire season after the devastating 2021 season, and it’s a relief that we haven’t seen major damage to communities or large evacuations this year,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “While overall this has been a quieter wildfire season, my thoughts are with everyone who evacuated or lost a home this year.”
This year, the Province announced $359 million in Budget 2022 to protect British Columbians from wildfires, including $145 million to strengthen the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.
This is the largest investment in the history of the wildfire service and is helping transform the BC Wildfire Service into a year-round service, shifting from its reactive mode to a more proactive approach. It will enable the BC Wildfire Service to focus on all four pillars of wildfire management: prevention and mitigation; preparedness; response; and recovery.
Read more about the Wildfire Seasonal Outlook: https://blog.gov.bc.ca/bcwildfire/category/seasonal-outlook/
For information about wildfires in your area: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status
For information about campfire bans in your area: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/fire-bans-and-restrictions
Learn more about evacuation orders:
Register for Emergency Support Services (ESS) with the online Evacuee Registration and Assistance (ERA) tool: ess.gov.bc.ca
Learn what you can do to protect your home, your neighbours, and your community: www.firesmartBC.ca
Stay connected with up-to-date wildfire information through the B.C. Wildfire Services App. Free to download:
Apple (iOS): Download directly from the App Store (iOS): https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bc-wildfire-service/id1477675008?ls=1
Android: Download directly from the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ca.bc.gov.WildfireInformation
Stay updated on road conditions and closures: https://www.drivebc.ca/
PreparedBC is British Columbia's one-stop shop for disaster readiness information. For tips on seasonal readiness, how to prepare an emergency plan and what to include in an emergency kit, visit: http://preparedbc.ca