Be wildfire safe this long weekend (

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Ministry of Forests

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250 896-4320


How to be fire safe this long weekend

General tips for a safe trip include:

  • allowing additional time to get to your destination due to more people on the roads;
  • making sure your vehicle is up for the drive by having a full tank of gas or a charged battery, as well as checking engine oil, washer fluid, lights and tires, including the spare;
  • packing food and water for passengers and pets;
  • visiting to plan breaks at rest areas;
  • watching for motorcyclists and sharing the road with cyclists and other users;
  • obeying all posted speed limits and driving with caution, especially during bad weather;
  • leaving the phone alone while behind the wheel;
  • ensuring all passengers use seatbelts at all times; and
  • never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Information about emergency preparedness

Be ready to evacuate:

  • If you are under an evacuation alert, be prepared to leave on short notice. Visit for information about how to create an emergency plan and grab-and-go kit.
  • If you are under an evacuation order, it means you must leave the area. Follow the instructions of your local government or First Nation.
  • By not leaving, you risk the health and safety of you and your family, and also that of first responders who may need to help you.
  • Emergency Support Services are available to people who are evacuated from their home and require assistance, such as assistance for costs associated with accommodation, food, transportation and incidentals.
  • Follow directions provided by your local government or First Nation about how and where to receive Emergency Support Services.
  • Connect with friends and family who may be able to provide shelter and support if an evacuation order is issued. This will help ensure local accommodation is available for those who have no other option. 
  • Some local governments and First Nations may offer online registration for Emergency Support Services. Your local government or First Nation will provide instruction about whether you can apply online or in person at a designated evacuee reception centre. People are encouraged to pre-register for ESS. To register or pre-register, visit the Province’s Evacuee Registration and Assistance online tool:

FireSmart tips for property owners/renters:

  • Remove branches, leaves, pine needles and other flammable material from roofs, gutters, balconies, doorways, windowsills, etc. Pay particular attention to corners or other tight spots where debris tends to gather.
  • Mow any grass within 10 metres of your home regularly, preferably to a height of 10 centimetres or less.
  • If you have a deck with a crawlspace, clear flammable material.
  • Create a 1.5-metre non-combustible zone around buildings by raking or sweeping down to mineral soil, rock or concrete.
  • Any movable propane tank or wood pile should be kept at least 10 metres away from your home.
  • Check all exterior vents to make sure they are properly screened and in good condition.
  • Learn more about FireSmart:

Heat warnings:

  • Monitor Environment and Climate Change Canada for updates about heat warnings and temperature forecasts in your region.
  • During heat events, the Province works with health authorities, First Nations and local authorities to protect people and communities, and helps fund cooling centres. 
  • First Nations and local authorities in affected areas will open cooling centres to the public if needed. Check with your municipality, regional district or First Nation for the most up-to-date information.

Preparing and responding to hot weather:

  • If you have air conditioning at home, make sure it is in good working order.
  • If you do not have air conditioning at home:
    • Find somewhere you can cool off on hot days. Consider places in your community to spend time indoors, such as local cooling centres, libraries, community centres, movie theatres or malls. 
    • As temperatures may be hotter inside than outside, consider outdoor spaces with lots of shade and running water. 
    • Shut windows and close curtains and blinds during the heat of the day to block the sun and prevent hotter outdoor air from coming inside. Open doors and windows when it is cooler outside to move that cooler air indoors. 
    • Ensure that you have a working fan, but do not rely on fans as your primary means of cooling. Fans can be used to draw cooler late-evening, overnight and early-morning air indoors. Keep track of temperatures in your home using a thermostat or thermometer. Sustained indoor temperatures over 31 C can be dangerous for people who are susceptible to heat.
    • If your home gets very hot, consider staying with a friend or relative who has air conditioning, if possible.
  • Identify people who may be at high risk of heat-related illness. If possible, help them prepare for heat and plan to check on them. The most susceptible individuals include adults older than 60, people with pre-existing health conditions, people with mental illness and people with disabilities.

Your health:

  • Drink plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Spray your body with water, wear a damp shirt, take a cool shower or bath, or sit with part of your body in water to cool down. 
  • Stay in the shade and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Take immediate action to cool down if you are overheating. Signs of overheating include feeling unwell, headache and dizziness. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, severe headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst and dark urine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek a cooler environment, drink plenty of water, rest and use water to cool your body. 
  • Signs of heat stroke include loss of consciousness, disorientation, confusion, and severe nausea or vomiting. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 immediately if you suspect heat stroke. 
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a parked car. Leaving the car windows slightly open will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.

Know Before You Go:

  • Visit Destination BC’s​ web page, which is regularly updated and serves as a one-stop shop for visitors looking to access key information resources, such as information from DriveBC, the BC Wildfire Service and the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.
  • It is important to recognize that British Columbia is a large and diverse province. Many areas are not directly affected and are open for business.
  • If the area you were planning to travel to is affected by wildfires or under an evacuation alert or order, connect with a local visitor centre to rebook your trip to another area of the province.
  • The River Forecast Centre also asks that anyone planning activities on rivers or waterways check any advisories for high streamflow or other such concerns.

Precautions for ATV users:

  • Anyone riding an all-terrain vehicle on or within 300 metres of forested land or rangeland must have a spark arrestor installed on the vehicle.
  • To help reduce wildfire risks, check the condition of the muffler, regularly clear buildups of grass or other vegetation from hot spots, stay on dirt paths and avoid tall grass and weeds.