FireSmart BC Urges British Columbians to Take Action and Get Prepared for Wildfire

Press Release

British Columbia, Aug. 23, 2023 — Now is the time to know what to do in an emergency, and learn about some critical last-minute FireSmart tips that could save your property. To support residents in these endeavours, FireSmart BC has crucial information to help you, your family, and your pets stay safe while protecting your home.

1. Create a Detailed Evacuation Plan

Stay educated on what to do and how to prepare for a wildfire event. PreparedBC has a wealth of information that will help you create an evacuation plan for yourself and your family as well as your pets, ensuring that every member of your household is accounted for should an evacuation alert or order be issued for your community. In addition to your own household, consider reaching out to vulnerable individuals in your community to ensure they are also prepared. This will help to ensure that you, your family, and your community as a whole are ready to respond to wildfire.

2. Prepare Your Home

Prepare the exterior of your property using the FireSmart BC Emergency Wildfire Preparedness Checklist:

  • Remove leaves, pine needles and other debris from your roof and gutters.
  • Mow grass within 10 metres of the house to 10 centimetres in length, or less.
  • Clear all dead plants, leaves, and weeds within 10 metres of your home. Maintain a 1.5 metre non-combustible zone around your home and deck.
  • Move combustible items that are within 10 metres of your home such as propane tanks,  doormats, toys, patio furniture, cushions, decorative items, firewood, and potted plants. This includes items on or under decks. Move all combustible items into your home or garage.

3. Monitor Current Evacuation Alerts and Orders

Monitor the list of current evacuation alerts and orders so you can better understand the fire danger rating of your community and be prepared should an order be issued for your area. If an alert is issued for your area, the FireSmart Last Minute Checklist will help to ensure that you are in the best possible position to respond to a wildfire or evacuation order. This updated document contains pertinent information including evacuation preparation tips and a detailed list of some last-minute actions that can be performed to increase the wildfire resiliency of your property before an evacuation order is issued.

While an evacuation alert means that you need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, an evacuation order means that the time to prepare is over. Should an evacuation order be issued for your area, you need to leave immediately. During this level of emergency, your local evacuation centre should be your first point of contact. Be sure to follow all instructions during an evacuation order and stay up to date on the latest information whenever it is safe to do so.

Visit to see all of these resources and more. Make sure to share the website with your community and with individuals whose homes may become at risk. There’s no such thing as being too prepared, especially in the face of wildfire.


About FireSmart BC
FireSmart BC is a provincial program committed to building wildfire resiliency and reducing the negative impacts of fire for everyone in the province. The BC FireSmart Committee was initiated by the BC Wildfire Service in May 2017 to provide direction for wildfire prevention activities. Members of the committee include the BC Wildfire Service, the Office of the Fire Commissioner, the Union of BC Municipalities, the Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC, Emergency Management BC, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of BC, Indigenous Services Canada, the Ministry of Forests – Regional Operations, Parks Canada, and BC Parks.


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