Resources

The following questions and answers apply when there is an active emergency event.

For more specific information related to the event, check out the latest updates or the other resources listed on the left.

Emergency Q&A

I live in a different city/province/country and I’m trying to get a hold of a relative/friend. What should I do?

If you've already tried contacting them and they are part of the evacuation area (check the interactive map for areas on evacuation alert/order) you can contact the Public Information Line at 1-877-569-8490.

I’ve been evacuated, but I forgot medication/something important at home, can I go back and get it?

No, you cannot return to your home until the evacuation order has been rescinded. You can register with Emergency Support Services and they will be able to assist you.

My property is under an evacuation alert/order and my pets/animals are there – how do I get them out?

Register with the Emergency Support Services centre (ESS), who will work with the local Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (formerly CDART) to create a plan to get animals and pets out safely.

I want to help. What can I do?

Anyone can help pass along official information about a local emergency or evacuation. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and share our official messages. If you aren't on social media, sign up for e-updates and forward them to friends and family who might be looking for more information.

If you would like to donate your time, clothing, food or accommodation, please contact the Emergency Social Services centre (ESS), if it has been established. Location of the ESS will be available on the emergency event page. Contact the Public Information line at 1-877-569-8490

If you have equipment available or specialized expertise, please contact the Public Information line at 1-877-569-8490 and ask for the Logistics section.

How can I be prepared?

Visit the be prepared page for more information.

Information for residents returning home

In addition, as active fire suppression work continues throughout the area of the fire, please stay out of the way of emergency vehicles and crews. You may continue to notice visible flames and smoke rising from the fire site. Anyone with concerns about new fire activity should call 9-1-1 and report it to Regional Fire Dispatch.

You are reminded that you may encounter various hazards on private properties as a result of the forest fire. For your safety please stay out of fire-affected areas. BC Emergency Preparedness has additional information for returning home after a wildfire.

What happens when an evacuation order is rescinded?

Evacuated residents are allowed to return to their homes; however, may remain on evacuation alert, which means that they must be ready to evacuate again in a moment's notice. Resources for residents returning to their homes include:

Food safety

As there was an extended disruption in electrical service associated with this fire, you may have concerns about food safety. 

Interior Health says during a power outage, food in your fridge or freezer may no longer be safe to eat. ‘When in doubt, throw it out’!

Do not take any chances with the safety of your food. Interior Health has created a Food and Water Safety information sheet for residents affected by wildfires. Visit interiorhealth.ca.

Electrical services

The lines within the Evacuation area may have been de-energized at the request of and for the safety of emergency responders. This extended period without electrical service may also impact the availability of other services such as water or septic, depending on your source/provider.

FortisBC, www.fortisbc.com
For downed powerlines, please call 911 or FortisBC at 1-866-436-7847

BC Hydro, www.bchydro.com 
For downed powerlines, please call 911

Natural gas service

If gas has been turned off due, FortisBC will ensure the natural gas system is safe before visiting your home to relight your appliances. If you miss the technician, call 1-877-711-8877 for relights.

If the service valve is turned off, do not turn it on. If you have concerns about the system, or detect rotten egg or sulphur smell of natural gas, leave your home and call 1-800-663-9911. 

Source: FortisBC, www.fortisbc.com

Potential hazards associated with wildfires
  • Burnt trees with little or no limbs have limited structural support and may fall at any time.
  • Burning root structures leave the surrounding ground unstable and extremely hot. Roots can burn for days. They may appear as "dinosaur footprints" and must be avoided.
  • Wild animals may have been affected by the fire. If you spot an animal in distress, keep your distance and contact the Conservation Office at 250-828-2551.
  • Electrical hazards, such as fallen power lines (and other utility lines) and power poles affected by the fire. Some poles may be unstable. Treat all fallen lines with extreme caution. If you come across a utility line that may be activated, contact the appropriate utility company.
  • Structural hazards, and potentially dangerous gas pockets may exist in some of the homes affected by the fire. Standing chimneys and walls may appear to be sound. Be aware the concrete in these structures may be fragile due to excessive heat and may collapse at any time.
  • Emergency response personnel may still be active in the area. Please do not block access to streets.
View the infographic

Definitions
What is an emergency (or local state of emergency)?

A state of local emergency is declared "when an emergency or disaster (as defined in the Emergency Program Act) within its jurisdiction requires access to the extraordinary emergency powers of the Emergency Program Act."  (source: Emergency Management BC)

In the Okanagan, a local state of emergency is declared by the affected municipality's Mayor or Regional District Chair.

What is an evacuation alert?

An event has taken place (e.g. flood, fire) that may require residents to by ready to leave their homes at a moment's notice. Residents in the affected area should be prepared to be away from their homes for an extended period of time, make arrangements for pets and pack essential items such as medicines and important documents. Visit the be prepared page for more information.

Updates will be provided as they become available through cordemergency.ca, e-updates and social media (facebook.com/cordemergency & twitter.com/co_emerg).

What is an evacuation order?

An event has made it necessary for residents to leave their homes immediately. Residents will be restricted from returning.

Updates will be provided as they become available through cordemergency.ca, e-updates and social media (facebook.com/cordemergency & twitter.com/co_emerg).