Person using the BC Wildfire Service app (

Media Contacts

Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness

Media Relations
250 880-6430

Ministry of Forests

Media Relations
250 896-4320

Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship

Media Relations
250 896-7365


New tools and improved resources

Emergency Ready Planner

During an emergency, knowing what to do, where to go and who to contact helps to reduce stress and keep people focused and safe.

The Emergency Ready Planner is an interactive online tool that makes it fast and easy to make a personalized emergency plan in about 30 minutes. Once complete, the plan can be saved as a PDF and printed out to store in an emergency kit.

The interactive online planner helps people:

  • identify local hazards;
  • choose emergency meeting places in case of evacuation or separation;
  • document emergency contacts, medical and insurance information; and
  • get tips for turning off/on utilities and protecting homes from wildfires.

Access the Emergency Ready Planner to create your plan here:

BC Wildfire Service Mobile app

The Province is taking action to keep people and communities safe and informed during wildfire season. People can now get up-to-date information on wildfire events and conditions throughout the province on the updated BC Wildfire Service app that has multiple features, including:

  • improved user experience on all devices – mobile, tablet and computer – with a better look, feel and functionality; and
  • more features and information:
    • interactive map with wildfire perimeters, weather, smoke and road conditions, and evacuation information;
    • wildfire dashboard with incident stats, updates and daily situation reports;
    • ability to customize notifications and save location and incident information; and
    • ability to report a wildfire in-app or offline if not in cell service range.

The BC Wildfire Service app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

Drought Information Portal

Drought is a long period with below normal rain or snow that may result in shortages of the water needed to drink, grow food, and keep fish, animals and the environment healthy.

The Drought Information Portal is a tool to help communities, farmers and businesses understand how drought could impact their region so they can prepare and take action.

  • The portal is a single source for current and historical drought levels, watershed conditions, and other precipitation, streamflow, snowpack and groundwater data by geographic region.
  • Each region is assigned a drought classification level using a 0 to 5 scale, with 5 being the most severe, based on water supply from snow, rain and rivers and risk of adverse impacts.
  • Adverse impacts to people and the environment at drought level 3 are possible, level 4 likely, and level 5 almost certain.
  • Local conditions within a region may vary depending on water storage, supply and demand in each community.

In 2023, 80% of the province experienced severe drought conditions. As of May 8, 2024, 40% of the province is already classified with drought levels between 3 and 5.

For more information about regional drought levels, visit:

Seasonal emergencies and preparedness

Current conditions

As of May 8, 2024, there were 109 active wildfires burning around the province, three of which were classified as out of control. This time of year, the majority of wildfires are human-caused, but despite the dry conditions, B.C. is below the 20-year average for new wildfire starts. Wildfire activity is forecast to increase in the coming weeks and months if there continues to be limited precipitation throughout the province. After receiving less than half the normal amount of rain in April, underlying fuel conditions remain extremely dry in the southern and central Interior as well as throughout northeastern B.C. Category 2 and 3 open burning prohibitions are now in effect for:

  • Prince George Fire Centre;
  • Cariboo Fire Centre;
  • Kamloops Fire Centre; and
  • parts of the Northwest Fire Centre.

As of May 1, 2024, the provincial snowpack was extremely low averaging 66% of normal across B.C., based on the average from 1991 to 2020.

Premier’s Expert Task Force on Emergencies

The Province is taking several early steps to prepare for the wildfire and drought season, including working year-round with local governments and First Nations to help keep people and communities safe and informed.

This includes work stemming from the Premier’s Expert Task Force on Emergencies, which released 31 recommendations in April 2024 focused on four key themes:

  • enhancing the use of predictive fire technology;
  • expanding wildfire training and prevention programs;
  • strengthening local response co-ordination (including local and municipal fire departments); and
  • supporting people with timely and accessible information about evacuation orders and alerts.

To read the full list of task force recommendations, visit:

Wildfire preparedness

The Province continues working with communities to prepare for wildfire season and implementing the task force recommendations, including these key steps already announced this year:

  • launching a dedicated wildfire training and education centre at Thompson Rivers University to welcome the province’s future wildfire fighters;
  • increasing the use of new technology to better predict wildfire movement and growth;
  • funding for communities to better support evacuees;
  • readying more volunteers to support evacuees;
  • boosting wildfire-fighting fleet and equipment; and
  • enhancing wildfire recruitment tactics.

Since 2022, the BC Wildfire Service has increased permanent full-time staff by 55%, with more planned. Budget 2024 provides another $38 million to support stable, year-round staffing, including fire-crew leaders and front-line staff who provide structure protection, prevention and risk reduction, and wildfire land-based recovery.

Drought preparedness

The Province is taking action to keep people and communities safe through drought now, and in the years to come, by:

  • monitoring drought conditions so everyone has the information they need;
  • supporting farmers and food producers with new ways to save and store water on farms, find feed for animals, and access other financial supports when they need it;
  • making sure communities have water for people and animals;
  • building better infrastructure to improve drinking-water systems, manage water levels in lakes and rivers, and keep watersheds healthy;
  • protecting fish from long-lasting harm that could take generations to recover; and
  • making sure industry is doing their part to use less water.
Actions people can take to prepare for emergencies

Be prepared

Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual reminder to plan and prepare for an emergency. Knowing what to do will reduce stress and help keep you and your family focused and safe.

  • Identify the hazards in your community (wildfires, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.).
  • Make an emergency plan for you and your family.
  • Gather supplies to build an emergency kit and grab-and-go bags.
  • Learn what happens in an evacuation.
  • Prepare and protect your home.

Find guides, resources and the Emergency Ready Planner here:


Current dry conditions and prolonged drought are setting the stage for another challenging wildfire season. At this time of year, human activity is the main cause of wildfires.

To help prevent wildfires:

  • check for fire bans and restrictions;
  • know the current fire danger rating in your area;
  • use caution when open burning or participating in activities that could cause a wildfire;
  • install spark arrestors on off-road vehicles to stop sparks from exiting the tailpipe; and
  • camp responsibly:
    • keep campfires smaller than half a metre and create a fire break one metre around them;
    • never leave a fire unattended; and
    • make sure campfires are completely out and ashes cool to touch before leaving.

FireSmart your home to help protect it from wildfire:

  • clean roof and gutters of leaves and pine needles;
  • keep firewood, sheds and outbuildings at least 10 metres away from your home;
  • remove bark mulch and other flammable landscaping from around your home;
  • install weather stripping and screens to help prevent embers from entering your home; and
  • relocate and safely store propane tanks and other explosive items.

If there is a wildfire in your area:

  • Pay attention to updates and instructions from local officials.
  • Follow all evacuation alerts and orders:
  • Register at an evacuation reception centre or online to access supports:
  • Download the BC Wildfire Service app to get updates on wildfire activity.
  • Don’t return home until it’s safe and then follow re-entry instructions.

For more tips to prepare for wildfire, visit:


B.C. experienced a severe drought last year and remains at high risk this year. The Province is supporting communities, farmers and business efforts to prepare for drought and use less water. 

Everyone can help save water. Small changes make a big difference when we do them together.

  • In many areas, residents are the largest water users. Imagine how much more water could be saved if every person in took these easy actions to save water at home:
    • water lawns only one hour a week, save 37,000 litres a month;
    • turn off the tap to brush teeth, save 11,000 litres a year;
    • cut showers by a minute, save 2,700 litres a year;
    • fix a leaky toilet, save 350,000 litres a year;
    • skip the car wash, save 260 litres a vehicle; and
    • wear clothes more than once, save 200 litres per load.
  • Other ways to save water, if you’re able:
    • plant drought resistant gardens and lawns; and
    • invest in water-efficient taps, toilets and washers or install rain barrels to collect water; many communities offer rebates or incentives.

Most importantly, follow local water restrictions. Check with your community for details.

For more tips and to learn how B.C. is preparing for drought, visit:



People are encouraged to prepare for hot weather and make a plan to stay safe:

  • Know ways to cool down – take cool baths or showers, drink plenty of water.
  • Find cool places inside and outside the home – libraries, community centres, cooling centres.
  • Check on loved ones at higher risk – older adults, people with chronic health conditions, especially if they live alone.

For more tips, review the Extreme Heat Preparedness Guide: