Community Wildfire Protection
In 2017, the City of Williams Lake and the surrounding regions faced unprecedented threat in the face of historic wildfires in British Columbia, forcing the City's evacuation for almost two weeks from July 14 to July 27, 2017.
While work to protect residents from the threat of a wildfire had already begun, the City ramped up its efforts in the months and years to follow resulting in the creation and, by 2019, the completion, of the Williams Lake and Area Community Wildfire Protection Plan - Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative (CWPP).
The CWPP, created in cooperation with the Cariboo Regional District, Williams Lake First Nation and Xat'sull First Nation, was made possible through collaboration between multiple stakeholders including the B.C Government, several interest groups, BC Wildfire Service, the Fraser Basin Council, forestry consultants, the Williams Lake Community Forest, BC Timber Sales, woodlot licensees and forest industry representatives.
In 2020, the City of Williams Lake embarked on further enhancing and implementing its British Columbia FireSmart strategy laid out in its Community Wildfire Protection Plan. FireSmart assessments and a rebate on FireSmart treatment are now available through the City of Williams Lake. Led by the Williams Lake Fire Department, the City contracted Ken Day of KDay Forestry Ltd. to carry out the assessments for interested homeowners. If you have questions, or would like to receive an assessment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Community Wildfire Protection Plan identifies areas to be treated for fuel reduction. The intention of these treatments is to reduce the energy released by a fire front. Reducing the energy released means that the fire would be on the ground, moving slowly across the forest floor. A fire like that can be safely addressed by fire-fighters, providing a better opportunity to defend our community. The areas planned for fuel treatment are shown on Map 8 from the CWPP – just click the image to the right.
Fuel treatment will include thinning and pruning trees, gathering and removing surface fuels, and then periodic maintenance. Removing surface fuels may, in some situations, include the use of prescribed fire under a burn plan prepared and carried out by a qualified burn boss. As an example, in April 2021 the BC Wildfire Service and Williams Lake Fire Department successfully carried out a prescribed burn in Boitanio Park and in Stampede Park.
IMPORTANT RESOURCES AND LINKS:
- FireSmart BC - Homeowner Tools, Access to Local FireSmart Representatives, Resources and Networking Information
- Williams Lake and Area Community Wildfire Roundtable
- BC Wildfire Service
- FireWork, Canada's Wildfire Smoke Prediction System
- Information for Agri-Recovery
- BC Assessment - Wildfire Info for Properties that Sustained Damage
- BC Assessment - Wildfire Info Youtube Link
City of Williams Lake EOC: 250-392-2364 / website / facebook / twitter
Cariboo Regional District: 1-866-759-4977 / website / facebook / twitter
Williams Lake First Nation: 250-296-3507 / facebook / website
Everbridge (local emergency notification system): link
RCMP: 250-392-6211 (non-emergency) / website / facebook / twitter
WL SPCA: 250-305-9436 / website / facebook / twitter
BC Wildfire Service (status, maps and prevention): 1 888 336-7378 / website / facebook / twitter
BCWS Fire Reporting Hotline: 1-800-663-5555 or *5555
BCWS Active Wildfires map: website
Central Caribou Fire Bulletins: website
Wildfire Smoke Forecast: website
BC Burn Registration Line: 1-888-797-1717
City of Williams Lake Weather: website
Emergency Info BC: website / twitter
BC Road Conditions: 1-800-550-2997 / website / facebook / twitter
PreparedBC (disaster readiness): website
GetPrepared Canada: website
Health and Social Services
Williams Lake Resiliency Center: website / 250-305-0226
Williams Lake Donation Center: website
BC Interior Health: website / facebook / twitter
Canadian Red Cross (Evacuee registration and information): 1-800-863-6582 / website / facebook / twitter
BC Air Quality Health Index: website
BC Economic Disaster Recovery Program: 1-877-422-3377 / website
BC Recreational Sites and Trails Status: website
Neighboring Jurisdiction Emergency Operations
Thompson-Nicola RD: 250-377-7188 / website
TNRD Evacuation Status Map: website
Squamish-Lillooet RD: website / twitter
Strathcona RD: website / facebook / twitter
Mount Waddington RD: website / facebook / twitter
Central Coast RD: website
Bulkley Nechako RD: website
Fraser-Fort George RD: website