Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Wildfire Management Branch
The desire to get away from the pressures of heavily populated areas has resulted in an increase in subdivisions and developments in forested areas. Each year there are more than 2,000 forest fires in British Columbia. Although most are far from populated areas, many can threaten or burn homes, summer cottages and cabins.
Forest homesite developments often lack building restrictions, provisions for fire protection or roads suitable for the movement of heavy fire-fighting equipment.
As a resident in a rural or forest area, you play a key role in wildfire protection. You are responsible for protecting your buildings and property. If you already live in, or are planning to build in a rural area, you should take fire into account.
There are five basic steps to planning for wildfire protection.
- Understand how wildfires start and spread.
- Choose a building site that offers natural protection.
- Build a house that is fire resistant, or improve the fire resistance of your present home.
- Use fire-wise landscaping principles to reduce a fire's ability to spread.
- Follow fire safety rules and make sure you and your family are prepared for a fire emergency.
The B.C. Forest Service is concerned about residents living in forested areas and will take action to prevent the loss of life or the spread of fire to or from structures.. However, Forest Service personnel are not equipped or trained to fight structure fires.
Everyone shares the responsibility for preserving life and property by planning for fire protection. Contact the nearest Forest Service office or your local fire department for information or assistance on how to start developing a fire protection plan for your home.
- The Office of the Fire Commissioner is the lead for public education relating to the FireSmart initiative.
- Fire Smart Canada
- PEP's "Wildfire Information" hazard preparedness page