As residents of Alberta, we are no strangers to the threat of wildfires, especially during the dry summer months. Being prepared and knowing what to do in case of evacuation can make all the difference in ensuring the safety of your loved ones and your property.

Understanding the Risk

Alberta’s diverse landscape, with its forests, grasslands, and rural areas, presents an increased risk of wildfires. Factors such as dry weather conditions, lightning strikes, human activity, and wind patterns can all contribute to the spread of wildfires.

Prepare Your Home

  1. Create a Defensible Space: Clear vegetation and debris at least 10 meters from your home to create a buffer zone, reducing the risk of fire spreading.
  2. Maintain Your Property: Regularly clean your gutters, mow your lawn, and trim trees and shrubs to remove potential fuel for wildfires.
  3. Install Fire-resistant Features: Consider using fire-resistant materials for roofing, siding, and landscaping to help protect your home.

Emergency Preparedness

  1. Create an Evacuation Plan: Plan multiple evacuation routes and designate a meeting point for family members in case you are separated during an evacuation.
  2. Pack an Emergency Kit: Prepare an evacuation bag with essential items, including:
    • Water and non-perishable food
    • First aid kit and medications
    • Important documents (insurance, identification, etc.)
    • Clothing and sturdy footwear
    • Flashlights, batteries, and a battery-powered radio
    • Personal hygiene items and sanitation supplies
  3. Stay Informed: Monitor local news and weather updates to stay informed about wildfire activity in your area. Sign up for emergency alerts and follow instructions from local authorities.

During an Evacuation

  1. Follow Evacuation Orders: If authorities issue an evacuation order, leave immediately. Don’t wait until it’s too late to evacuate safely.
  2. Secure Your Home: Close all windows and doors, shut off gas and utilities, and move flammable items away from your home’s exterior.
  3. Stay Calm and Safe: Remain calm and follow designated evacuation routes. Avoid driving through areas with heavy smoke or fire.

Wildfires are a natural part of Alberta’s ecosystem, but they can pose significant risks to communities and individuals. By taking proactive measures to prepare for wildfire season and knowing what to do in case of evacuation, you can help ensure the safety of yourself, your loved ones, and your property. Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay safe. Together, we can minimize the impact of wildfires and protect our communities for generations to come.