Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) is now available for local governments and First Nations in regions that have been adversely affected by wildfires this season.
DFA is available to help community authorities cover disaster-related losses that are not covered by insurance, such as wildfire damage to public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and other publicly owned infrastructure.
All Indigenous communities, electoral areas and municipalities affected within the geographic boundaries of these regional districts are eligible:
- Cariboo Regional District
- Columbia Shuswap Regional District
- Fraser Valley Regional District
- Northern Rockies Regional Municipality
- Peace River Regional District
- Regional District Bulkley-Nechako
- Regional District Central Okanagan
- Regional District East Kootenay
- Regional District Kitimat-Stikine
- Regional District North Okanagan
- Regional District of Fraser-Fort George
- Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
- Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
- Stikine (unincorporated)
- Thompson-Nicola Regional District
This list encompasses all regional districts where public damage due to wildfire has been reported.
People who have been affected by wildfires are encouraged to contact their insurance representative. Standard home and business insurance policies cover fire damage and additional living expenses – for things such as food, shelter and clothing – if residents were required to leave their homes due to an evacuation order issued by their local government or First Nation.
The Province is supporting fire-affected communities as they begin to focus on community-led recovery efforts. The Province has also applied to the federal government for Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), which provides cost-sharing support for wildfire expenses, such as repairs to roads and public buildings, and cleanup.
First Nations communities and local governments that have infrastructure damage as a result of the wildfires since April 29, 2023, should submit a local government DFA application as soon as possible. The application deadline will be 90 days after the end date of the event, which is still to be determined. With ongoing wildfires, visit the DFA website for application forms and deadlines:
In 2022, the Province announced regulation changes to strengthen the DFA program for communities. The changes include:
- increasing provincial contributions to local infrastructure recovery to help communities invest in timely and crucial recovery; and
- up-front cash flow to communities from the Province to help accelerate local recovery planning.
Information about regulation changes can be found here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/26713
British Columbians can contribute to trusted organizations, such as Food Banks BC, the Canadian Red Cross and the United Way, which are supporting the Province and local authorities in providing assistance to those affected by the wildfires.
Tips for donating carefully:
- Avoid giving cash or using wire-transfer services. Cheques should be made out to an organization, not an individual.
- Donations made online should be done only on secure websites.
- When asked for donations (over the phone, through an email or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
- Beware of high-pressure tactics. A legitimate charity will still be there tomorrow. Feel free to take the information and sleep on it.
- Do an internet search for the charity’s name and background.
- If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization, including its fundraising practices, call the Canada Revenue Agency: 1 877 442-2899.
For information about Disaster Financial Assistance, visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance
For people wanting to help those affected by wildfires, Canada Helps has a list of verified charities responding to the current wildfire situation: