Reporting Forest Fires
If through your journeys in the vast wilderness of British Columbia, you come across a forest fire, please do NOT panic.
Call the Wildfire Reporting Centre toll free line 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell phone.
Remember the BC Wildfire Management Branch’smotto, is "Hit Hard, Hit Fast". Nearly one third of all wildfires in B.C. are detected and reported by the general public. Public wildfire reports have resulted in immeasurable savings in property damage, forest resources and fire suppression dollars.
Before you call Wildfire Reporting Centre be sure to have the following information:
* Your location (note any major highways, waterfalls, parks, or nearest towns or villages etc.) that will determine the location for them to be able to fight the fires in a timely manner.
* The type of smoke whether it be gray, white, orange etc., as it will tell the dispatcher what type of material is involved.
* Type of terrain, whether it be steep, mountainous, isolated etc.
* Approximate size of the fire, and the approximate time that it started
* Weather at the current time (clear and hot, hot and rainy, hot and windy, windy, clear, rainy, thunderstorms)
* Whether there are any residences in the area that you can see
* Also whether there has been anyone in the area where the fire has been spotted.
*** Paint as much of a picture as you can for the dispatcher, as they need to send out crews, and determine the safety of the crew(s) involved.
***Don't thoroughly check things out, as it is valuable time, but if you can have some sort of idea of some of the questions above, then it will help out the dispatcher a lot.
A well trained dispatcher will take your call, and will determine the priority or the seriousness of the call.
When they get on the phone with you, they may ask questions such as follows, which is why it is important to have some of the information above.
1) What is the location of the fire?
2) What is the approximate size?
3) What colour of smoke is coming from the fire? What is the terrain like? What sort of vegetation is burning (grass, trees?)
4) Are there any residences in the area? Any people in the area? (** hint** parked cars etc, ) If there are parked cars, be sure to mention the description of the cars and licence plate numbers so they can find the names of individuals around.
5)What is the weather like?
6) Any other comments that you might want to mention to the dispatcher to help them out.
Up-to-date wildfire information is also available on line at http://www.bcwildfire.ca or by calling the Wildfire Information Line 1‑888‑3FOREST (1‑888‑336‑7378). If you see smoke or flames, please report it by calling toll free 1‑800‑663‑5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks