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Preventing and Escaping Wildfires

When it comes to wildfires, there’s more to think about than simply preparing for the possibility of evacuation. Getting prepared— especially if you live in British Columbia, or the Boreal forest zones of Ontario or Quebec— can make a huge difference to your well-being. Even simply purchasing a 72 Hour Emergency Kit will help you rest a little easier during wildfire season. However, before we launch into that, we want to share a few tips on preventative measures we can take.

A lot about wildfires is beyond our immediate, human control. As the weather gets drier— particularly throughout the months of May through September— wildfires become more and more common, burning an average 2.5 million hectares of Canadian land each year. Approximately 8,000 wildfires occur each summer in Canada. They’ve become a part of the norm: inevitable. This year has been especially bad, as the drought we’re experiencing in parts of BC reaches Level 4 and breaks records.

Did you know that 55% of all fires are human-caused? Here are a few ways that you can help prevent the spread of forest fires:

  • Before building a campfire or bonfire, ALWAYS check the local regulations regarding permits and fire bans.
  • If you are burning, clear the area of any flammable products. And keep your fire at least 500 feet from forest slash as well as 50 feet from buildings.
  • Keep firefighting equipment handy.
  • Burn only natural vegetation or untreated wood products. If you’re having trouble getting a fire started because of damp wood, try our Fire Paste! It will help you get a fire going quickly, without any dangerous flare-ups or splashing.
  • Keep fire fighting equipment handy, such as a connected hose, or at least 5 gallons of water and a hose. It’s also extremely important to watch your fire until it is completely burned out.
  • Don’t burn if it’s windy.
  • Don’t move around while you smoke a cigarette. And once you’re done, make sure your butt is completely dead before discarding it!
  • Operating power saws, cars, trucks and other machinery can all cause sparks. So make sure you have the proper preventative equipment such as mufflers and exhaust spark arresters.
  • Know the number to call, if you witness a fire becoming uncontrollable. And don’t hesitate to make the call!

For more information on wildfire prevention, read about Canada’s beautiful Boreal Forestland, here.

In our upcoming posts, we’ll continue to talk about wildfires, so stay tuned for the topics below!

Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io

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