What to do during an evacuation caused by a forest fire?

What to do during an evacuation caused by a forest fire?

Under a alert evacuation: prepare

An evacuation alert is not an order, but rather an advance notice when a fire poses a risk. The alert can be short-lived, which reinforces the need to be well prepared.

When an alert is issued, it is not necessary to leave your home, but you must be prepared to evacuate:

  • designating a meeting place outside the evacuation area;
  • by organizing accommodation for the household outside the evacuation zone;
  • and arranging transport.

If an order is given, reception centers will be opened.

People who do not have access to a vehicle should make arrangements with a neighbor or friend nearby so they have a plan in place to leave the area that needs to be evacuated, emergency services recommend.

It is also recommended to ensure that the fuel tank of the vehicle to be used for evacuation is full.

A forest fire burns in the distance near Cache Creek, British Columbia.

Emergency services recommend keeping the fuel tank of the vehicle to be used for evacuation full.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Mark Zimmer

Prepare an emergency kit

In preparation for a possible evacuation, the authorities recommend having an emergency kit on hand.

This kit should contain:

  • clothes adapted to the season;
  • cell phones and chargers;
  • a purse or wallet;
  • blankets and pillows;
  • sleeping bags;
  • water and snacks;
  • as well as books and games.

It is strongly suggested that you collect important personal documents, such as title deeds or housing lease, insurance policies, birth certificates, wills and credit cards.

During an evacuation, you must take your glasses and medication with you.

The fires have transformed the sky above Ashcroft into a huge orange surface against which a herd of galloping horses stands out.

During an evacuation, animals should be avoided in an enclosure, as they could be trapped, recommend the emergency services of Alberta.

Photo : Instagram/@blondiesoph

Pets and Cattle

Before leaving, it’s best to make sure you have what pets need, including food and water, collars, leashes, and carrier bags.

Cattle should be moved to a safe area outside of the evacuation alert area. This way, he will be safe if an evacuation order is given and the owners have to leave at very short notice.

Under a order evacuation: leave quickly

If an evacuation order is given, it must be obeyed for your safety. An evacuation order will only be issued if authorities believe there is an imminent potential for loss of life or injury.

At home

  • Take the emergency kit, as well as the medicines, glasses and keys.

  • Close all doors, windows and fences, but do not lock them.

  • If time permits, close the main water valve and the main electrical circuit breaker, but leave the natural gas on.

  • Do not leave pets at home.

en route

  • Go immediately to the location designated in the family evacuation plan.
  • Follow the routes given by the emergency services avoiding shortcuts, as they could lead to a blocked or dangerous area.
Cars at a standstill as residents of Cache Creek must evacuate due to the Ashcroft wildfire.

When evacuating, it is important to follow the routes indicated by emergency services, as shortcuts can lead to being blocked or lead to dangerous areas.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Brady Strachan/CBC

Once safe

Upon arrival in a safe place:

  • register with the evacuee registration office;
  • communicate with family
  • stay tuned to local media and emergency services for information and updates.


  • Canadian Red Cross Restoring Family Links Program: 1-800-863-6582

In alberta :

In British Columbia :

If it is necessary to take refuge at home

Sometimes an evacuation can be dangerous. If sheltering in place is suggested, it is safer to stay indoors than to go out.

In this case, you must:

  • return immediately;

  • avoid leaving pets outside;

  • close all doors and windows, turn off the heating or air conditioning systems in the house;

  • seal off any place that could let in outside air, such as fireplaces, doors and windows;

  • place damp towels at the base of the doors

  • keep all combustible materials such as firewood, propane barbecues and patio furniture away from the house.

When the evacuation order is lifted

Once local authorities determine the situation is safe, the evacuation will be canceled and it will be possible to return home.

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