To report unlawful open burning, call the 24/7 Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277 or dial #7277 on a cell phone.
In British Columbia, wildfires are becoming an increasing threat. Fortunately, there is a solution that everyone can be a part of. Introducing FireSmart BC: the go-to resource for combating the problem of wildfire in BC. There are simple steps you can take to protect your home, neighborhood and province. Learn more at https://firesmartbc.ca/
It's Time to Get FireSmart About Wildfires in BC FireSmart Video
My name is Quentin Nelson, a Forest Fuel Management Liaison with First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of BC (FNESS), where I have been since 2019 and I am a Forester in Training (FIT). In 2018, I took the Local FireSmart Representative training and became a certified LFR. I have a Forestry Diploma and most recently in 2019, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Science. I work and live in Kamloops, BC.
In my current role with FNESS, one of my duties is to be an advocate for FireSmart, which is something I wholeheartedly believe in. What tends to work for me when I am engaging with our First Nations communities on the road is to conduct a Neighbourhood Wildfire Hazard Assessment to help jump-start their FireSmart path. This creates opportunity for our communities to apply into the Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) program to pursue funding to carry out an array of FireSmart activities so they can work towards achieving greater neighbourhood resilience in the event of a wildfire. As of January 2021, I became the FireSmart Canada Provincial Liaison for First Nation communities in BC. Long-term, I would love to see every single neighbourhood adopt FireSmart principles and work towards becoming FireSmart recognized.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions at all!
Quentin Nelson, FIT
Forest Fuel Management Liaison
Cell Phone: 250-320-7682
Since we are all at home but can’t burn, here are some activities from FireSmart Canada that we can do during COVID-19:
- Download the FireSmart Begins at Home app and undertake a structure ignition-zone assessment.
- Rake and remove tree needles and dry leaves within a minimum of 1.5 metres of a home’s foundation. As time permits, continue up to a 10-metre distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
- Clean tree needles from the roof and gutters.
- Get out your measuring tape and see how close wood piles are located to the home. If closer than 10 metres, relocate and move the pile at least 10 metres from structures.
- Sweep porches and decks to clear them of leaves and tree needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds and play structures.
- Mow grass to a height of 10 centimetres or less.
- Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage shed, garage, or basement. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors and should be located away from the home.
- Go to FireSmart BC and read or watch the numerous resources that are available on the website.
- Take the FireSmart 101 course on firesmartcanada.ca
Wildfire Risk In Aboriginal Communities Video
The FireSmart Neighbourhood Recognition Program
Communication and planning is underway to assist First Nations and local governments to engage in the FireSmart Neighbourhood Recognition Program. The goal of progressing the First Nations and local government into the recognition program is the objective for this fiscal year. The BC Wildfire Service hired a communications/engagement specialist who will implement the FireSmart Neighbourhood Recognition Program and assist with wildfire prevention activities in BC. It was determined that the FireSmart Neighbourhood Recognition Program will be an activity for this position.
The BC territorial representative/liaison position was previously held by a FNESS representative and is now shared between FNESS and the BCWS.
This added capacity and support for this role has been a great addition to FireSmart BC.
We have also received approval to develop an expanded FireSmart project through the Department of Indigenous Services Canada this year and are seeking to increase the FireSmart neighbourhood recognition First Nations engagement. Splatsin First Nation received community recognition in May 2018.
Recognized BC FireSmart Neighbourhoods
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day events can take place between Saturday May 1 - Sunday October 31, 2021
2021 FireSmart Community Funding and SupportsThe FireSmart Community Funding and Supports program provides funding to local governments and First
Nations in BC to increase community resiliency by undertaking community-based FireSmart planning
and activities that reduce the community’s risk from wildfire. To date, 175 First Nations and local
governments have received funding.
(FESBC) and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) are working with the Ministry of Forests, Lands,
Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development (FLNRORD) to deliver the FireSmart Community
Funding & Supports program.
funding is scaled to offer eligible applicants with lower risk of wildfire, generally demonstrated by WUI
Risk Class 4 and 5, to apply for up to $50,000, and applicants with a demonstrated higher risk of wildfire,
generally demonstrated by WUI Risk Class 1 to 3, to apply for up to $150,000 per year.
Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) Assessment Pilot Project
A project proposal was initiated in August 2016 as a partnership proposal for Fort Nelson First Nation IR # 2 through the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC) and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) who approved the project in October 2016. The project was leveraged as a partnership initiative through the BC Rural Dividend Program which approved the project in March 2017. The project area of interest expanded to include the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.
The scope of the project also expanded to include:
UAV technology to capture aerial imagery to support HIZ assessments and threat assessments in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).
- UAV commercial training for community members/business owners to support economic development opportunities.
The project initiative is being implemented through six funding sources with budget contributions from DISC, Forest Enhancement Society, UMBC, Fort Nelson First Nations (FNFN), and Partners in Protection, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and the BC Rural Dividend Program.