With the peak of wildfire season still ahead of us, BC has already seen double the average number of wildfires and three times the area burned this summer. Hundreds of people have been evacuated and hundreds more are on evacuation alert. And this week, the province is preparing for another heat wave that is likely to worsen the already very hot, dry, conditions.
Forest industry operators in BC have, under the Wildfire Act and Regulation, legal obligations with respect to fire use, prevention, control and rehabilitation. This includes hazard assessment and abatement, and the performance of high risk activities. Did you know the Wildfire Act applies on both public (Crown) and private land throughout BC? Reviewing and understanding the Act and Regulation will help ensure you are in compliance. Understanding the ‘language’ of the BC Forest Service is also very helpful in planning wildfire prevention strategies. The BC Wildfire Service Wildfire Glossary is a good resource.
Here are some key wildfire prevention planning resources for forest managers:
- Hazard Assessment & Abatement
Use the British Columbia Fire Risk Map to determine the location of a potential fire hazard.
- High Risk Activities
A person who carries out a high risk activity on or within 300m of forest land or grass land on or after March 1 and before November 1, unless the area is snow covered, must determine the Fire Danger Class for the location of the activity. There are three steps to determine your obligations around high risk activities.
- Emergency Contact Information
The BC Wildfire Service requires updated emergency contact information annually from any person who, under the Forest Act, is the holder of: a major licence, a timber sale licence that is not a major licence, a community forest agreement, a woodlot licence, or a first nations woodland licence and proposes to carry out industrial activity on or after March 1 and before November 1 of that year.
- Danger Class Report
Find a detailed danger class report on estimated and forecast fire danger rating values for specific weather stations.