Wildfires – Be Prepared

Wildfires – Be Prepared

To better prepare for a wildfire event, make sure that you know the risks specific to your property and neighbourhood and that you and the members of your household are prepared so that you'll know exactly what to do if a wildfire is possible in your area.

Before a wildfire

Educate the members of your household

Make sure that your family and the members of your household are prepared. Should a wildfire occur:

  • Ensure that you have an emergency plan in place and that your emergency kits are ready in case you need them.
  • Stay informed of weather conditions and advisories in your area. Be especially aware of potentially triggering weather conditions, such as droughts and lightning storms.
  • Have a primary escape route off your property and consider where you would go if evacuating your neighbourhood or the City. Remember that evacuation routes can be impacted by the wildfire.

Protect your home

Take these preventative steps to ensure that your home and your property are protected from the threat of wildfire:

  • Remove any fire hazards in and around your home, such as dried-out branches, leaves and debris.
  • Keep a sprinkler that is in good working condition in an accessible location.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are placed on every level of the home, and preferably in every bedroom. Test your smoke detectors once per month. Batteries should be replaced every 6 months, while the alarm itself should be replaced once every 10 years.
  • Consult the fire department or a qualified engineer about making your home fire-resistant.

Other considerations

  • Learn how to turn off the utilities in your residence. You may be instructed by authorities to shut them off.
  • Make sure that your vehicle has enough fuel. If evacuation becomes necessary, it will be hard to stop for gas.
  • If you need assistance, place a HELP sign in your window.
  • Check on elderly relatives and neighbours to see if they require assistance.
  • Ensure that pets and/or service animals are accounted for. Be sure to include them in your evacuation plans.
  • Identify non-replaceable precious items and mementoes that you can easily take with you.

During a wildfire

  • For handy tips, please view our guide for Wildfire Emergency Preparedness for People and Pets document.
  • Monitor the wildfire’s progress through radio, television or trusted social media accounts for warnings as well as online information from official sources like the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership
  • If an evacuation order is issued or you have to leave your home, be sure to take your emergency kit and other essential items with you.
  • Keep all doors and windows closed in your home.
  • Be aware of any downed power lines which can cause electrocution. Be sure to stay at least 10 metres away from them to avoid injury. Do not attempt to drive through areas that may be affected by downed power lines.
  • Do not attempt to drive through a wildfire

Returning to your home

  • If you have been forced to evacuate, follow evacuation orders and stay outside the evacuation zone until authorities have advised that it is safe to return.
  • Work with authorities and professional engineers to assess the structural safety of your home. Only re-enter your home after authorities advise that it's structurally safe to do so.