4 Ways to Prevent Wildfires

Wildfire is an essential part of many ecosystems in BC and the presence of fire has been integrated into landscape dynamics since time immemorial through Indigenous cultural burning practices. Due to both a long history of fire suppression and climate change impacts, BC has and will continue to experience intense wildfire seasons. Wildfires can have devastating impacts on the environment, communities, and the economy. Human activity causes approximately 40% of wildfires in BC, therefore, it is important to take measures to prevent wildfires from happening. Below are some of the ways you can do your part in preventing wildfires from starting.


1. Follow fire safety regulations

The first step in wildfire prevention is to follow fire safety regulations. Depending on when and where you are, restrictions may be in place. These can include a ban on open fires, campfires, fireworks, and other activities that can spark a fire. It is important to stay informed about these restrictions by checking with local authorities before engaging in any activities that involve fire. You can find the latest news and resources on the Government of BC’s website.


2. Be careful with campfires

Campfires are a common cause of wildfires. It’s important to use caution when building and extinguishing a campfire. When building a campfire, make sure to keep it small and contained within a fire ring or pit. Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure to fully extinguish it before leaving. To extinguish a campfire, pour water on it, stir the ashes, and pour more water until the coals are cool to the touch.


3. Report wildfires immediately

If you see smoke or flames, report it immediately to the local authorities. Early detection of wildfires can help prevent them from spreading and causing more damage. Do not attempt to put out a wildfire yourself, as they can be unpredictable and dangerous. Instead, call 911, the local fire department or the numbers below and provide as much information as possible about the location of the fire.


4. Educate yourself about wildfire prevention and protection.

There are many resources available online (i.e., FireSmart) and from local authorities (i.e., Wildfire Resources) that can help you learn about wildfire prevention and preparedness. By educating yourself, you can take steps to protect yourself, your family, your home, and your community from the devastating impacts of wildfires. By working together, we can help prevent wildfires and keep BC safe for generations to come.