Wildfire won’t wait for you to make a plan.

Last-Minute Checklist

The FireSmart Last-Minute Evacuation Checklist is a must-have tool to prepare your home and yourself for an evacuation situation.

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Follow evacuation alerts and orders

Knowing what to do in case of an evacuation alert or evacuation order could save your life, and possibly your property. An evacuation alert means you need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Use the FireSmart Last-Minute Checklist to make sure you’re ready before or during an alert. An evacuation order means the time to prepare is over. YOU NEED TO LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. During this level of emergency, your local evacuation centre should be your first point of contact.

Get prepared for wildfire

Prepare yourself and your family

Some of the most important ways you can prepare yourself or your family for an emergency evacuation are simple—and they’re all in the Wildfire Preparedness Guide by Get Prepared BC. Things like setting up a family communication plan in case you get separated, preparing grab-and-go bags for everyone in your household, and knowing your evacuation routes are just a few ways to make sure you’re ready. Download the Wildfire Preparedness Guide now and make a plan.

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Prepare your pets

In an emergency, your furry, feathery, finned or scaly friends will be relying on you. So have a pet plan in place with pet-friendly contacts who can host or help you in case you need to evacuate. Prepare a grab-and-go pet bag with a leash, food and water for up to a week, health and vaccination information—everything you’ll need to ensure they’re safe and healthy away from home. For more tips and resources, download our pet prep guide.

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Prepare your property

There’s a lot you can do before an evacuation is ordered to protect your home, farmland, or ranch from wildfire. Moving fuel sources like firewood and lawn furniture away from your house, trimming branches near your roof, and cutting your lawn shorter are just a few quick chores you can do—before you’re in a wildfire emergency—that may save your property. For farmers and ranchers, download resources here. For all property owners, our Homeowner’s Manual is an essential tool for mitigating the threats of fire.

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Fire Danger Rating

Fire Danger Rating map updated daily. Courtesy of BC Wildfire Services

Know your risk rating

There are five colour-coded fire danger ratings (FDR). The FDR British Columbia map is updated daily to highlight what areas are currently in an extreme, high, moderate, low, or very low risk area. Check the map to see your community’s status, and make sure you know how and where to reach your local evacuation centre.

Not sure what it means and what you can or should do in a certain rating? Click the FDR tabs below to get informed and prepared.

Extreme

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What does extreme risk mean?

Surrounding forests are dry and contain fuels that make the risk extremely serious. Fires can start easily, spread rapidly, and may be challenging to contain. Forest activities will most likely be restricted, like campfires and industrial work.

What should I do?

You should be prepared for an evacuation alert and potential evacuation orders at all times. Use your FireSmart Last-Minute Checklist, prepare your grab-and-go bags, plan your routes, choose your emergency contacts, and have your local evacuation centre’s contact information on hand. You should also do what you can to ensure your property is FireSmart. But, most importantly, check back here regularly for updates on evacuation alerts and orders.

High

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What does high risk mean?

Forest fuels are dry and the fire risks are increasingly serious. New fires may start easily, burn quickly, and challenge fire suppression efforts. Extreme caution should be used for any forest activities, such as open burning and industrial activities that involve tools with gas-powered engines. Open burning and industrial activities that involve tools with gas-powered engines. Click here for a list of high risk activities that should be avoided.

What should I do?

Just like extreme risk areas, you should be prepared for wildfire at any time. Use your FireSmart Last-Minute Checklist, prepare your grab-and-go bags, plan your routes and contacts, use the Homeowner’s Manual to prepare your home and property, and check for evacuation alerts and orders regularly.

Moderate

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What does moderate risk mean?

Forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting. Carry out any forest activities with caution. Click here for a list of high risk activities that should be performed with caution.

What should I do?

This is a great time to focus on FireSmart activities. You may be at a lower risk than extreme or high, but that doesn’t mean you should be complacent. Conditions can change quickly, so it’s important to create an emergency plan, prepare your home and property, and check back here for emerging wildfire incidents.

Low

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What does low risk mean?

Fires may start easily and spread quickly, but there will be minimal involvement of deeper fuel layers or larger fuels.

What should I do?

The risks may be low, but fire is still possible. Use this time to FireSmart your property, using our Homeowner’s Manual and our Landscaping Guide. And remember to check back here in case conditions change.

Very Low

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What does very low risk mean?

The amount of dry forest fuels are limited and are at a low risk of catching fire.

What should I do?

This is obviously an ideal place to be, but it’s always good to be prepared for conditions to change by ensuring your house and property are ready for higher fire danger ratings. This is a perfect time to contact a Local FireSmart Representative or Wildfire Mitigation Specialist to help you mitigate the risks of wildfire around your home—before they become a far more real hazard.

Now’s the time to get FireSmart.

Whether the fire risks are extreme or low, the stakes are always high if you’re not prepared. Following evacuation alerts and orders and getting ready before a wildfire disaster strikes can make a world of difference. So make a plan, keep your property FireSmart, and stay up to date on the latest evacuation alerts and orders this wildfire season.

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FireSmart BC
Homeowner's Manual

This manual provides easy steps to make your property FireSmart, so you can reduce the potential impacts of wildfire on your home and community.

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FireSmart BC Homeowner's Manual

Looking for FireSmart tips? Check out these 11 quick tips on the FireSmart Your Home Infographic

Get prepared today with these other key resources

Home Ignition Assessment Score Card

Assess your risk from wildfire. Answer the questions in the assessment form to see what changes will make the greatest difference in reducing your home’s risk from wildfire.

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Watch a Home Ignition Zone Assessment

Watch Larry Watkinson (Fire Chief of Penticton) give a Home Ignition Zone Assessment for a homeowner in Penticton, BC. Home assessments are a great opportunity to identify where FireSmart practices can be applied on the home.

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Wildfire mitigation for the Farm and Ranch

Agriculture faces unique challenges from wildfire. Farmers, ranchers, First Nations and governments can all take simple steps to prepare ahead of time.

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