Living on an island comes with a lot of advantages. However, one potential disadvantage is that smaller islands may not have local fire response services. Residents must be conscious of their surroundings and understand that a wildfire could occur in their community.
Island residents are self-sufficient and are often familiar with managing their personal property with an eye to safety. However, there are always those who aren’t as aware. Some residents aren’t able to do the physical work necessary to maintain a FireSmart property, which requires clearing their property of unnecessary forest debris or vegetation.
By getting a grant and developing a plan to deal with the risks that come with living in a forested area, communities can make a difference and work together to handle the most problematic areas. While this holds true for many property owners, island dwellers have a greater need to rely on each other. If a fire breaks out on an island, the BC Wildfire Service is available to help. Crews can be transported by air, boat or vehicle, or a ferry if available, but remember that the BC Wildfire Service only deals with fires involving vegetation — not structures.
We encourage those who live on an island to come up with an emergency plan to deal with all fire types.
The Coastal Fire Centre encourages residents of smaller islands to help us compile a list of key contacts. This list would help ensure that fire information, community and information bulletins, and other information can be delivered to you. If you live on a small island and would like to be added to our contact list, please send us an email at: