BC FireSmart and the Office of the Fire Commissioner have produced the new Wildfire Preparedness Guide. (Lakes District News file photo)

New Wildfire Preparedness Guide published

The British Columbia government has released the new Wildfire Preparedness Guide.

The 20-page guide is the first of its kind and as its title suggests is dedicated completely to wildfire preparedness.

“The probability of damaging wildfires has increased in recent years, due in part to the effects of climate change. If you live in a risk area, it’s imperative that you take time to get ready,” the guide said in its introductory comments.

It features information from before, during and after wildfires, representing “the complete disaster cycle, from mitigation and preparedness to wildfire response and recovery,” as Tara Gostelow, spokesperson with Emergency Management BC told Lakes District News.

The guide advises that before a wildfire households should prepare emergency plans for when disaster strikes. It specifically suggests that people keep their phones fully charged, have contact lists of family and emergency numbers and make a closed Facebook group where members can check in during emergencies.

Households should have grab-and-go bags containing essential items – applicable to both humans and pets – like clothes, food, flashlight, radio and first aid kits in case people need to leave their homes on short notice.

The “before” preparedness stage also includes having the home and property FireSmarted to remove combustible debris and reduce the risk of wildfires causing more damage.

RELATED: Burns Lake gets FireSmart

During a wildfire, the guide first stresses that people follow the instructions of authorities, especially evacuation orders and alerts.

Gostelow said several parts of the guide include pertinent themes identified by the public over the past two wildfire seasons. They include health-focussed advice on managing wildfire smoke exposure, how to manage anxiety related to wildfires and evacuations and information on insuring property and understanding the policy entitlements.

Among the points for after the wildfire, the guide states that help is available 24 hours a day through BC’s Mental Health Support Line at 310-6789 (no area code) for those feeling the need for help following traumatic events, and through the First Nations Health Authority at 1-800-588-8717.

It was made in partnership with BC FireSmart and the Office of the Fire Commissioner.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Just Posted

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Parking lot rework effort begins

Work is well underway on the Downtown Parking Lot Redevelopment Plan, which… Continue reading

Day at the beach

People young and old flocked to Radley Beach to relax and cool… Continue reading

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Most Read