I know I’m not alone in feeling like wildfire season starts earlier with each passing year. We’re only approaching mid-June and already the current season is setting records. It is more important than ever to remain vigilant and be fire smart.
Due to increasing fire risk, a campfire ban has now been implemented in most of the province and it’s vital that people respect these restrictions.
All campfires and open fires are now prohibited, as are fireworks and the like. Any contravention of the fire ban could result in serious fines and even jail time, in addition to putting the region at serious risk.
Already, we’ve seen evacuation alerts and orders throughout the province, and we know that conditions can change at a moment’s notice. It’s vital to have an emergency plan and a ‘go-bag’ in place to evacuate your home and keep your family safe in the case of a wildfire.
Items to have in your emergency kit include food and water; batteries and chargers; a first aid kit; a radio; a flashlight; a pen and notepad; personal toiletries; seasonal clothing; copies of important documents; a list of emergency contacts; and a copy of your emergency plan. Additionally, consider the unique needs of seniors, people with disabilities, children, or even pets in your family.
Take some time to walk around your property and remove potential fire hazards. Clear debris from your roof, gutters, and other areas of your house, ensure firewood is stored at least 10 metres away from your home, maintain trees and shrubs on your property, and talk to your neighbours about cooperation and planning in the case of an emergency.
We know that wildfires are becoming increasingly common due to climate change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to prevent them and mitigate potential damage. Let’s work together this season to protect each other and this incredible place we get to call home.
To report a wildfire call *5555 on a cell or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. You can find information on active wildfires and fire safety at bcwildfire.ca.