Our committee members
The BCFSC consists of the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS), Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC), Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC (FCABC), Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR), Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC), First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of BC (FNESS), Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), BC Parks, Parks Canada and Ministry of Forests – Regional Operations.
Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia
The Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC (FCABC) represents chief fire officers across the province. The FCABC advocates for matters concerning legislation, codes and standards related to the fire service and public safety in BC. The FCABC positions itself as a trusted advisor to government, other agencies and associations, the public and other stakeholders. The FCABC also functions as a unifying force, providing opportunities and resources for our members to ensure they have the appropriate tools and support for their many roles.
There are areas where the unique capabilities of Fire Chiefs and the FCABC can accelerate improvements in community wildfire safety to meet the escalating wildfire threat, including supporting community and homeowner engagement, education and assessments, delivery and promotion of FireSmart workshops, and promotion of wildland fire cross-training and preparedness. The FCABC is committed to supporting and participating in the BC FireSmart Committee to further enhance public and responder safety.
FireSmart™ Canada is a program of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. CIFFC became the owner of the FireSmart Canada brand in 2021. The history of FireSmart Canada goes back to 1990 when a committee was established to address common concerns about wildfire in the wildland urban interface, where wildlands and human development come together.
FireSmart Canada leads the development of resources and programs designed to empower the public and increase neighbourhood resilience to wildfire across Canada. Leveraging partnerships with a comprehensive network of leading wildland fire science researchers allows FireSmart Canada to develop programs and resources that are based on peer reviewed and defendable science.
British Columbia Wildfire Service
The BC Wildfire Service is tasked with managing wildfires through a combination of wildfire prevention, mitigation and suppression strategies, on both Crown and private lands outside of organized areas such as local governments or regional districts. While the BC Wildfire Service is mandated to mitigate the impacts of wildfire on life and assets, particularly forests and grasslands, it gives high priority to fuel management and wildfire suppression in interface areas where communities and forests come together.
Wildfire seasons are longer, wildfires are more frequent and fire behaviour is more intense. In order to combat the change in our wildfire situation provincially, FireSmart needs to be embraced as a shared responsibility. The BC FireSmart Committee is leading the charge for FireSmart in B.C. and the BC Wildfire Service is committed to lending our support and helping the BC FireSmart Committee achieve their vision.
First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of British Columbia
FNESS works with First Nations in BC to support their communities in regards to safety of their communities through education, public awareness and training. FNESS works to support communities in three broad areas of wildfire prevention, structural fire and emergency management, also through resources and support from Provincial and Federal governments and agencies.
FNESS supports First Nations communities with wildfire prevention, education, training and emergency management response and planning. Having a First Nations organization involved at this level through the BC FireSmart Committee ensures First Nation participation, engagement and access to resources and information in the area of wildfire prevention.
BC Parks, the third largest parks system in North America, is responsible for the designation, management and conservation of a system of ecological reserves, provincial parks, conservancies, protected areas and recreation areas located throughout the province. British Columbia’s parks and protected areas system contains nationally and internationally significant natural and cultural features and outdoor experiences. The provincial system of parks is dedicated to the protection of natural environments for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public. Our parks and protected areas are a public trust. As such, our mission is to protect representative and special natural places within the Province’s protected areas system for world class conservation, outdoor recreation, education and scientific study. BC Parks is committed to furthering FireSmart BC objectives and to serving British Columbians and their visitors by:
- Protecting and managing for future generations a wide variety of outstanding park lands which represent the best natural features and diverse wilderness environments of the province.
- Providing province-wide opportunities for a diversity of high quality and safe outdoor recreation that is compatible with protecting the natural environment.
Forest Enhancement Society of BC
In addition to advocating for the environmental and resource stewardship of B.C.’s forests, FESBC is tasked with preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires, improving damaged or low-value forests, improving habitat for wildlife, supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low value forests, and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.
The BC FireSmart Committee is providing crucial leadership at a provincial level to help mitigate the impact of wildfire in BC Communities. This work not only aligns with FESBC purposes and the mandate we have received from the Minister but is also work that we feel passionate about. We are proud to be a part of the FireSmart Committee and see it as an example of what can be achieved when everyone works together.
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) partners with First Nations communities to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. ISCtransfers responsibility and control over lands, resources and the environment to Indigenous peoples and Northerners through land claim and self-government agreements and devolution to territorial governments. ISC also fulfills an important role in developing natural resources and protecting the environment in most First Nations communities and the territories. FireSmart builds skills in First Nations communities to prevent and prepare against wildland fires. FireSmart also leverages Indigenous knowledge of the local environment and terrain to improve emergency planning, preparation and response to wildfires. ISCs role on the BC FireSmart Committee is to represent Indigenous national interests and determine how they can best be addressed through the FireSmart BC program.
Union of BC Municipalities
The Union of BC Municipalities provides a common voice for local governments in British Columbia. UBCM’s mandate is to advocate on behalf of BC local governments and member First Nations for the development and implementation of legislation, regulation, policies and programs that support the membership’s common interests. UBCM also delivers numerous provincially and federally funded grant programs that support B.C.’s local governments.
Local governments and First Nations are on the front lines of emergency preparedness and response, for wildfire, floods and other disasters. We all have an vested interest in making our communities more resilient. For nearly two decades, through the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative and now the Community Resiliency Investment program, UBCM has administered funding programs that serve to reduce wildfire threat through forest fuel management and increase community awareness and engagement in wildfire prevention activities and FireSmart practices.
Parks Canada protects a vast network of cultural and natural heritage places that include national historic sites, national parks, national marine conservation areas and one national urban park. For decades, fire management has been an integral part of how Parks Canada protects many of these places. Parks Canada uses risk reduction programs and response planning to reduce the threat of wildfire to the public and infrastructure while maintaining the ecological health of protected ecosystems at the landscape scale. Parks Canada is proud to collaborate with the BC FireSmart Committee members to better support wildfire preparedness, prevention and mitigation. Safety is always the top priority for Parks Canada in all fire management operations. Parks Canada works with provinces, territories, Indigenous and local communities to ensure appropriate wildfire readiness and response. We believe in sharing leadership and working with partners to achieve extraordinary results.
Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR)
EMCR is the provincial government’s lead coordinating agency for all emergency management and business continuity activities. They provide executive coordination, strategic planning, and multi-agency facilitation in an increasingly complex emergency management environment. We strive to develop effective relationships through working with local authorities, First Nations, provincial ministries and auxiliary agencies, federal departments, industry, non-government organizations and volunteers to support all phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. EMCR also engages national and international partners to enhance collective emergency preparedness.
What we have seen over the past few years, with wildfire seasons are longer, wildfires are more frequent and fire behaviour being more intense affecting populated geographic areas FireSmart is increasingly more important to help communities mitigate the effects of Wildfire. EMCR is committed to the BC FireSmart committee and lending support and helping achieve the vision that the committee has and working with communities in this effort.
Ministry of Forests – Regional Operations
The Ministry of Forests – Regional Operations is responsible for the stewardship of provincial Crown land and ensures the sustainable management of forest, wildlife, water and other land-based resources. The Ministry works with Indigenous and rural communities to strengthen and diversify their economies. FireSmart principles have shown that they are effective at reducing the risk to life and property in the most extreme wildfire conditions, Regional Operations is committed to working with the BC FireSmart Committee to assist in developing activities that provide environmental, economic, cultural and social benefits to all British Columbians. This work directly contributes to the achievement of the Province’s goals of reconciliation, clean growth and a strong, sustainable economy.
British Columbia Office of the Fire Commissioner
The Office of the Fire Commissioner is a leader in fire safety awareness and prevention in British Columbia. It has earned the trust of British Columbians by offering: Progressive advice about fire safety, Innovative recommendations about fire prevention, Collaborative communication with the fire services in the province. In addition, the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC): Advises provincial government agencies on broad fire safety issues, Is a liaison between the provincial government and the fire service providing advice on all fire safety and prevention matters, Reviews and monitors a broad scope fire safety issues throughout B.C. to ensure that consistent advice and recommendations are provided to the public to increase fire safety awareness
The OFC, as liaison with the fire services in the province, can help the BC FireSmart Committee with efforts to better prepare British Columbians for wildfires. Understanding that wildland fires can quickly spread from the forest and become interface fires, the OFC is committed to efforts that reduce the risk to people, property and communities.
Meet the faces behind FireSmart BC
Team FireSmart BC is the group of individuals who work day in and day out to further the BCFSC goals. They span the BC Wildfire Service, Fire Chiefs Association of BC, FNESS, and the Union of BC Municipalities and are your first point of contact for any questions you have about the FireSmart program.
We’re always looking for great people to work with our collaborative team across Canada. So if you’re on the lookout for a rewarding career that can have a real impact in Canadian communities, you’ve come to the right place.
Rachel Woodhurst (she/her) works as the A/Program Lead for the FireSmart BC Program. Rachel has been with the BC provincial government for 8 years, including BCWS for 3 years as a Dispatcher and Communications Assistant primarily in the Kamloops Fire Centre. During the 2017 fire season, Rachel saw firsthand how impactful the FireSmart Program can be to protect homes. In 2017, Rachel graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Science Communication and she is passionate about creating and sharing public education campaigns that can help local communities learn about wildfire resiliency to prepare and ultimately change the outcomes when threatened by wildfires. Rachel is grateful to live and work on the unceded, traditional territory of the Secwépemc Peoples.
FNESS FireSmart Supervisor
Portfolio: First Nations Outreach
Amanda Reynolds (she/her) is the FireSmart Supervisor for the First Nations Emergency Services Society (FNESS). In this position, she oversees the FireSmart program for FNESS and supports all First Nations with their FireSmart journey. Amanda ensures that First Nations values are represented in the FireSmart program design and implementation. She also leads the design and implementation of the ISC-FNESS FireSmart Funding Program.
Amanda has spent over five years working with the FireSmart BC program in wildfire prevention and mitigation. Before this, Amanda was a high school teacher for 10 years in the Lower Mainland. Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education.
Amanda is grateful to live and work on the unceded traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, part of the Dakelh (Carrier) Peoples’ territory.
Wildfire Interface Specialist & Program Lead
Portfolio: Home Partners Program
Joel Hamilton is the FireSmart Home Partners Program (HPP) Provincial Coordinator with FireSmart BC and the Fire Chiefs Association of BC (FCABC). He also supports and sits on the BC FireSmart Committee (BCFSC). Joel’s background in fire response began with Parks Canada, serving in their Fire Management/Resource Conservation branch. He occupied numerous roles including Initial attack Crew Member, Crew Leader, Wildfire Technician and various positions on a type-1 National Incident Management Team (NIMT). During this time he also served on his local volunteer fire department and search and rescue teams. More recently, employed by the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) as Wildfire Mitigation Supervisor, Joel oversaw the region’s FireSmart program, landscape level fuel treatment portfolio, public and stakeholder engagement and supported the Regional Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during times of emergency response. In his role with FireSmart BC and the FCABC, Joel provides project management and coordination to the FireSmart HPP, supporting Local Government and First Nations implement FireSmart programs and practices within their regions. He provides local authorities with the appropriate training, strategies and customizable engagement assets to help foster long-term behavioral changes in homeowners, measurably reducing their risk posed by wildfire. Joel’s interest and experience in wildfire science and wildfire response has given rise to his passion for working with communities becoming more resilient to wildfire.
FNESS FireSmart Researcher
Helena Marken (she/her) is the FireSmart Researcher for the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society (FNESS). In this position, she supports research work with Indigenous communities and researchers while pursuing projects and reviewing technical documents to help increase FireSmart accessibility and services.
For the past decade, Helena has worked in wildfire in operational communications, as a wildland firefighter, and most recently, in FireSmart research. She has a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science from Thompson Rivers University and is passionate about using research as a tool to improve community wildfire resiliency.
Helena is grateful to live and work on the unceded traditional territory of the Secwépemc Peoples.
Portfolio: FCNRP, WCPD, FireSmart Plant Program
Janet Ford is the FireSmart Coordinator for the BC Wildfire Service and has been with the FireSmart Program for 3.5 years. Janet has 14 years of experience working with Wildfire TEAMS (Temporary Emergency Management System) on the fireline in the logistics and planning capacities. It is for this reason that Janet is passionate about the FireSmart program and getting the FireSmart messaging out to the public. In her role as the FireSmart Coordinator position, Janet is responsible for the FireSmart Neighbourhood Recognition Program, receiving and screening the applications and working with the Provinces Licenced FireSmart Representatives (LFR’s) to promote the program within their communities. She is also responsible for engaging nurseries and growers across the province in the Plant Tagging Initiative to bring the FireSmart messaging to the public at the retail level, and for the development and purchasing of the FireSmart branded promotional items for the Provincial Fire Centres and the BC FireSmart Committee members. Janet’s background is all related to Provincial Forestry programs including the Provincial Forest Districts and Regions issuing Cutting Permits and Licences for Small Scale Salvage and Major Licencees, contracting tree planters, working closely with farmers and ranchers on grazing tenures, and liaison with Compliance and Enforcement. Prior to moving to BCWS in a full-time capacity, Janet worked with Mountain Resorts Branch and the 34 major Provincial ski resorts with their Master Development and Operating Agreements to issue new licences and leases on their infrastructure and expansions on Crown Land.
BC FireSmart Committee Coordinator
Portfolio: BC FireSmart Committee, FireSmart BC Conference
Lynn joined the FireSmart team in May of 2022. In her role, Lynn provides executive level administrative support to the BC FireSmart Committee, the FireSmart BC Standing Committees, and the FireSmart BC staff team. As a first point of contact, Lynn can be found working closely with the public from all over BC to ensure they are able to access a wide range of tools and resources that promote FireSmart awareness for individuals, neighbourhoods, and communities. Lynn has a degree from UBC and brings a skillset developed from working in executive level offices, local government, and customer service roles. Lynn’s passion is community health and views the FireSmart program as a way of bringing communities together with a focus on preventative actions and awareness that foster wildfire prevention.
FireSmart Landscaping Expert
Portfolio: FireSmart Landscaping
Karla Hoffman originally worked on the FireSmart Canada Guide to Landscaping and has designed, installed, and maintained landscapes – from small residential sites, to commercial, university, and municipal grounds. For over a decade she led an education campaign for the public on plant health care, integrated pest management, and how to conserve landscape water in a semi-arid climate. During this time, she was tasked with taking two seemingly opposing objectives and making them compatible with each other, namely, xeriscaping and being FireSmart.
FNESS FireSmart Education and Outreach Coordinator
Dan Stevens (he/him) is the FireSmart Education and Outreach Coordinator for the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society. In this position, Dan supports FireSmart education and outreach within Indigenous communities. With a commitment to inclusivity, he ensures that Indigenous knowledge and perspectives is integrated into all phases of the FireSmart program. Dan’s role also involves co-leading workshops for Local FireSmart Representatives (LFRs), evaluating program initiatives, supporting LFRs and FireSmart Coordinators, and fostering relationships with First Nations, professional associations, and resource agencies to promote FireSmart.
Dan has dedicated over 15 years to structure fire, wildfire mitigation, and emergency management through volunteer and professional experience. He has worked with the FireSmart program as a volunteer LFR and a full-time Wildfire Mitigation Specialist. Dan graduated from the Training Division Fire Academy in 2009, meeting the Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications. He also graduated from the Justice Institute of British Columbia in 2023 with a Diploma in Emergency and Security Management.
Dan is grateful to live and work on the unceded traditional territory of the Secwépemc Peoples.
FireSmart Education Officer (Partnerships Advisor)
Bio coming soon!
FNESS FireSmart Home Partners Program Coordinator
Malina Garner (she/her) is the FireSmart Home Partners Program Coordinator for the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society(FNESS). In this position, she supports the integration of the Home Partners Program into Indigenous communities, including training Wildfire Mitigation Specialists.
Malina is also a volunteer firefighter and previously worked for the National Indigenous Fire Safety Council. Her FireSmart experience comes from her former role as a Local FireSmart Representative (LFR) where she implemented local FireSmart programs. Malina has a Bachelor of Science with combined Honours in Biology, Environment Sustainability and Society from Dalhousie University and accreditation from the Justice Institute of British Columbia (NFPA 1001, Fire and Life Safety Educator). She is also an accredited Silviculture Surveyor (Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development). Malina is currently working on a micro-certification in Co-Management of Natural Resources (UBC Forestry).
Malina is of Denesųłiné and European ancestry and is a member of the Buffalo River Dene Nation in Saskatchewan. She is grateful to live, work and play on the unceded traditional territory of the Secwépemc Peoples.
Home Partners Program Administrative Coordinator
Ryan has gained years of experience in wildfire response, emergency management, and wildfire mitigation. From 2016 to 2021, Ryan was with the BC Wildfire Service as a Crew Member, and later an Initial Attack Crew Leader. Ryan saw the importance of FireSmart principles while fighting wildfires in his home zone of Penticton and throughout the Province. After seven years with BCWS, Ryan transitioned to an emergency management role with EMCR out of their Prince George office, gaining first hand experience in the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre.
This position allowed Ryan to support First Nations and Local Authorities during emergencies. Following that, Ryan worked out of the Goldstream office with BC Parks on Vancouver Island. As a resource technologist with BC Parks, Ryan oversaw and advocated for Wildfire Risk Reduction projects located in the region. Overall, Ryan believes in the FireSmart BC program and the opportunities to increase the overall resiliency to wildfires in British Columbia.
FireSmart BC Outreach Coordinator
Kate Todoruk is the FireSmart BC Outreach Coordinator, bringing a diverse background in fire suppression, fire prevention, and public education. Her career began as a unit crew member with the BC Wildfire Service, where she gained valuable experience in fire suppression and fire behaviour. Subsequently, she attained a commercial helicopter pilots’ licence, and supported wildfire operations from the air, across British Columbia, Alberta, Nunavut, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Throughout the past several years Kate has continued to expand her expertise, and has served the community as a structural firefighter, while responding to emergencies and engaging with the public regarding fire prevention and safety. Having spent nearly two decades travelling and working in the remote Canadian wilderness, Kate is passionate about helping communities in British Columbia continue to build and maintain wildfire resilience.
Kate is grateful to work and live on the traditional territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) people, today known as the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.
FireSmart Education Officer | Program Advisor
Lucy Grainger (she/her) works as the FireSmart Education Officer for FireSmart BC. She recently joined the FireSmart BC program, where she is dedicated to working with communities to build resiliency and implement practices to reduce wildfire impacts in their regions. She graduated from Quest University Canada in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, where she focused on education and social-emotional learning. With over a decade of experience in wildfire, Lucy has worked with the BC Wildfire Service since 2013, primarily on a ground crew through the Rapattack Program. Lucy is grateful to live and work is the unceded traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.
FireSmart Project Coordinator
Bio coming soon!
FireSmart Program Advisor
Deanne Suddaby has spent over ten years administering and developing FireSmart programs in Canada. Deanne’s previous work experience includes serving as the Business Administrator for the Partners in Protection Association and the FireSmart Program Coordinator with FireSmart Canada. Specifically, Deanne provided significant contributions to the development of the FireSmart Neighbourhood Recognition Program, the FireSmart Home Partners Program, and the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day initiative. In her role as FireSmart Program Advisor, Deanne is working with the BC FireSmart Committee to improve the Neighbourhood Recognition Program, and to continue to grow and promote FireSmart in BC.
Our goals and impact
Build wildfire resiliency and reduce the negative impacts of fire for everyone in the province through FireSmart.
A wildfire resilient province where everyone works, plays and lives FireSmart.
BCFSC Strategic Plan
This document outlines our vision, mission and goals for the years 2022 – 2025.
This document contains the FireSmart BC 2022 Annual Report.
Public Awareness Infographic
This infographic breaks down the public awareness and understanding of wildfires and the FireSmart BC Program.