The weather forecast is calling for continued hot, dry conditions today through tomorrow when a cold front is expected to move into the region – bringing with it steady winds along with the potential for strong gusts, thunderstorms, and dry lightning.
The BC Wildfire Service Predictive Services Unit has prepared an informative video about the upcoming weather system and the impacts it could have on fire behaviour.
A smoky skies bulletin remains in effect for the region and the smoky conditions we’ve seen from smoke in the Kamloops area will likely be with us until tomorrow afternoon. In addition, we have seen visible columns and increased fire behaviour on several local fires in the region due to the hot, dry conditions. This fire behaviour is expected and the BC Wildfire Service is watching things closely.
REPORT NEW FIRES:
With the chance of dry lightning and the potential for new starts, we all have a HUGE role to play in reporting new starts early. If you see wildfire, please report it at 1-800-663-5555, *5555 on a cell phone, or using the BC Wildfire Service mobile app.
ARE YOU PREPARED?
no matter where you live in the East Kootenay, staying aware of current conditions and ensuring you are prepared and ready to take action in the event conditions change are important. Here are five things you can do today to help with your personal preparedness: Here are five things you can do today to help with your personal preparedness:
1. Register for the Regional Evacuation Notification System – this is for EVERYONE in the East Kootenay. Over 17,000 people have registered – which is awesome….but that also means we are missing another 50,000 of you! It’s free and it ONLY sends notifications if the property you have registered is subject to an Evacuation Order or Alert. Register here.
– Use an address, not a postal code when you register – We recommend you start with an address, not a postal code. We have found people who put in a postal code sometimes have not taken the extra step to check that the pin is on their actual property.
– Check your address – Make sure you verify that your “pin” is in the correct location. This is extremely important! We’ve seen this more than once this year where people get Alerts they shouldn’t, or worse, do not get Alerts they should because they have not properly placed their pin.
– Check that your app hasn’t off-loaded – Many cellphones will “off-load” apps that have not been used recently. If you signed up using the app, make sure it is still downloaded and active.
– Verify your address – If it’s been a while since you registered, we recommend you login and verify you placed your pin in the right location. We can also look it up for you, so contact the RDEK if you need help with this step. Our Emergency Operations Centre is currently open and you can contact the Information Line at 250-426-2188 or 1-855-346-2188 between 9am and 5pm Mountain Time and we can register you or verify your address.
2. Have a Family Emergency Plan and Have a Grab-and-Go Kit Ready – For resources on how to make a plan and what to include in your kit see the details here. Gather important documents, photos, hard drives, etc and have them in one place so they are easy to grab if you ever need to leave on short notice.
3. Know What to Expect in Emergencies in the East Kootenay – Do you know the different stages of Evacuation? Do you know what ESS stands for and how these amazing volunteers help when people need them most? CLICK HERE to view the 2023 Wildfire Preparedness Newsletter to learn more.
4. Look Around Your Property and Reduce the Hazards – It is especially important to remove combustibles in the zone immediately around your home or structures. There are some great resources to help you with this link here.
5. Pre-register for Emergency Support Services – pre-registering ahead of time will make these supports easier to access and may make you eligible to receive an e-transfer in the event you ever need ESS. Here’s how to pre-register:
Step 1: Download the BC Services Card App if you don’t already have it on your phone.
Step 2: Once you have the app installed, pre-register all members of your household for ESS here.
Be prepared and be safe, this is very real.