Residents are advised to exercise extra caution when undertaking activities that could trigger a fire. If you notice smoke or fire in any urban park or wildland area, call 911 or the BC Wildfire Service at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cellphone. For information involving existing fires throughout the region, see the links below.
Stay up to date with
- Town of Oliver News Releases
Registration for the service is FREE, simple and totally anonymous. For mobile app alerts, download and install the Voyent Alert! app from the Apple or Google Play stores. For email, text message, or voice call alerts, register online.
- Town of Oliver Social Media Updates:
- Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre
- For information about the status of a wildfire, please look to the BC Wildfire Service:
- Check Facebook @BCForestFireInfo,
- Twitter @BCGovFireInfo
- BC Wildfire Service app on Google Play or the App Store.
Fire Danger Rating: Fire danger - Province of British Columbia (gov.bc.ca)
Emergency Map BC (Current Wildfires, Flood watch and warnings, tsunami notifications, and cooling facilities): EmergencyMapBC (arcgis.com)
The following resources provide information about fires throughout the province, air quality and other trip-planning services.
Wildfire News and Travel
Oliver residents should prepare for emergencies such as wildfires, landslides and flooding, especially if you live on the outskirts of the city or near waterways. There are many steps we can take to plan ahead, starting with having a household plan, basic emergency kit and considering all the people and animals on your property. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
Preparation is key. By taking a few steps to ensure your home is FireSmart, risks can be avoided.
Here are some quick tips:
- Dead pine needles are fuel. Keep them off your roof, out of your gutters and away from the foundation of your house.
- Prune your shrubs, removing all dead branches. Delimb trees up to 2 to 3 metres from the ground. Take the green waste to a local disposal site.
- If branches are hanging over your roof, trim them back. Then clear your roof of leaf or needle litter.
- Keep your lawn mowed (between 5-10cm) and watered, as fire moves quickly through dry grass and weeds.
- Store firewood at least 10 metres from your house, especially during fire season.
- If you are replacing your roof, choose a Class A or fire resistant product. Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your house in a wildfire because of its large size and its susceptibility to flying embers.
How to Plan Ahead
It will take you about 20 minutes to make your family emergency plan online. Before starting, you will need to think about:
- Safe exits from your home and neighbourhood (plan for two ways out of every room; do not use elevators)
- Have a meeting place to reunite with members of your household
- A designated person to pick up children should you be unavailable
- Contact people close-by and out-of-town
- Health and insurance information
- Places for your pet(s) to stay
- Potential risks in your area
- Location of your fire extinguisher, water valve, electrical panel, gas valve and floor drain
Find out more at getprepared.gc.ca
Your emergency kit should be in a bag that's easy to carry, with items sufficient for the entire household for at least 72 hours. Make sure everyone in the home knows where it is kept. The kit should include the following:
- enough water to last 72 hours
- food that won’t spoil such as canned goods
- energy bars
- dried foods
- manual can opener
- First Aid kit
- a whistle (to attract attention, if required)
- extra keys for your house and vehicle (fully fuelled)
- a change of clothing
- toilet paper
- cash in small bills
- change (payphone if needed)
- contact information
Have copies made of birth/marriage certificates, passports, licenses, wills, land deeds and insurance. Keep a copy of them outside of the home. Put them in a safety deposit box or give them to a close friend or family member.
Keep your information current and updated. Have emergency contact information on hand. Plan for each family member to call or e-mail an out of town contact person in case of emergency. When disaster strikes, your family may not be together. Plan how to meet or contact one another.
If children are in daycare or school, find out how they will communicate with families during an emergency. Choose a designate to pick up children if you not able to pick them up yourself. Update contact information including parents, caregivers and designates.
While disasters and emergencies affect everyone, their impact on people with disabilities/special needs is often compounded by factors such as reliance on electrical power, elevators, accessible transportation and accessible communication – all of which can be compromised in emergency situations. Some of the tips for emergency preparedness for people with disabilities/special needs are listed below. You can find more information on Canada’s Emergency Guide.
Make sure all your emergency kit items are organized in one place, easy to find and to carry.
- Tag all of your special needs’ equipment including instructions on how to use and/or move each assistive device during an emergency.
- If there are food/drug allergies, wear a MedicAlert® bracelet.
- List all food/drug allergies and current medications (for each medication, specify the medical condition being treated, the generic name, dosage, frequency, and the name and contact information of the prescribing physician).
- If you rely on any life sustaining equipment or if you require regular attendant care, ask your network to check on you immediately if an emergency occurs and have an emergency backup plan in the event of a power outage.
- During an emergency, if your support network is unable to help, ask others for help and inform them of your special needs and how they can assist you.
- Carry a personal alarm that emits a loud noise to draw attention.
- Be aware that experiencing an emergency can be overwhelming and stress can worsen some medical conditions.
- Identify a trusted support network of at least three people to assist during an emergency. Give them keys and add their contact information to a shared emergency plan. The support network should also be advised of any health conditions or medications and shown how to operate specialized medical or mobility equipment, such as lifts, wheelchairs or scooters.
- During an emergency, you and your animal companion(s) may be on your own for several days, and your pets will be relying on you to help them through it. Preparing for your pets is just as important as preparing for the human members of your family.
- Identify “pet friendly” accommodation/resources in advance in case evacuated. Not all public shelters or hotels may take pets. Have food and water in your emergency kit. If you have large animals (horses/cows) consider removing animals from the area during an evacuation alert if issued.
- Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (ALERT) is a team dedicated to animal welfare through the preparation for and the actual evacuation, rescue and shelter of domestic animals and livestock in a disaster.
Learn more about how to prepare your pets from BCSPCA.
Home insurance can help you pay for big expenses you couldn’t afford after a disaster such as replacing your home and all your possessions after a fire. It should also include additional living expenses in the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home due to an insured loss. If you have coverage, be sure to understand your coverage and have copies of your policies as part of your emergency kit.
During an Emergency
Residents affected by an Evacuation Alert are asked to stay calm and prepare to leave their homes as required. An Evacuation Alert is intended to allow people time to prepare their identification documents, medications, change of clothes and make plans with family members so they can leave their homes quickly and safely.
Download this helpful Wildfire Evacuation Checklist for last-minute steps. Important: Leave your household electricity or air conditioning on, but do not turn off the gas during an alert. If you turn off the gas now, the gas company may have to reconnect it, which may take time.
Stay informed of the situation. Listen to the radio or television for information from authorities. Follow their instructions.
During an evacuation alert, you are also encouraged to pre-register with ESS (Emergency Support Services) over their website.
Is your home FireSmart? There are some simple steps on the FireSmart page to help minimize risk at your home from flying debris and embers.
Get prepared to leave your home on short notice. Get your 72 Hour Emergency Kit ready. Ensure you will be ready to leave if needed at a moment's notice.
If an evacuation order is given, residents must:
- Leave the area immediately.
- Follow the directions of emergency responders and travel the designated or safest route available.
- Self-register as an evacuee with Emergency Support Services (ESS) by visiting https://ess.gov.bc.ca/.
- Shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers. Technical Safety BC offers some great tips involving what to do with your electrical and gas.
- Close all windows and doors.
- Please store your Fire Arms in accordance with Section 118 of the Fire Arms Act.
- Close gates (latch) but do not lock.
- Gather your family and if you have room, take a neighbour or someone needing transportation. Do not use more vehicles then you have to.
- Take critical items only if they are immediately available:
- Government issued ID
- Valuable papers (e.g. insurance, credit, and mortgage information)
- Immediate care needs for dependents
- Take pets in pet kennels or on a leash.
- Pet owners and hobby farmers with concerns for their animals: Contact Animal Emergency Response Team (ALERT) at 250-809-7152.
- Farmers who require assistance call the RDOS EOC.
- Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service.
Types of risk in Oliver
Please click on the items below for more information on each risk.
Many wildfires in BC occur far from cities and towns, but sometimes they threaten homes, businesses and infrastructure.
Help keep your family safe by knowing what to do before, during and after a wildfire. Visit our FireSmart page for information on how to stay FireSmart. You should also know the difference between an evacuation alert and order.
What to do Before a Wildfire
Nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. are caused by human carelessness. You can prevent them by following a few simple rules.
- Check for bans and restrictions.
- How to enjoy a campfire responsibly.
- Campfires, when not restricted, must be 0.5 m by 0.5 m or smaller.
- Keep a shovel and water nearby to extinguish your fire.
- Create a firebreak around your fire.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Ensure your campfire is completely out and the ashes cool to touch before you leave the area.
Personal and property preparedness
- Ensure your home insurance is up-to-date and includes adequate coverage for fire damage.
- Make sure your emergency plan is up to date. Review it with members of your household.
- Protect your property by completing a risk assessment in BC’s FireSmart Manual.
What to do During a Wildfire
Officials will only issue an evacuation order if it is unsafe for you to remain in your home. You can evacuate your home at any time if you feel in danger. Learn more about:
What to do After a Wildfire
- If you are evacuated, only return home when authorities have lifted the evacuation order. Stay out of damaged buildings as hazards may still exist.
- Wildfire activity may increase the likelihood for natural landslides and flooding. Learn about the warning signs by reviewing how to recognize Landslide and Flooding Risks.
Landslides are the down-slope movement of rock or debris. As residential developments expand onto steep slopes, landslides are becoming a greater hazard for both people and homes.
It’s important to take time to prepare and understand what to do before, during and after a major landslide. Download the PreparedBC: Landslide Information for Homeowners and Home Buyers guide to learn about protecting your home and property.
What to do Before a Landslide
The best way to prepare for a landslide is to be aware of changes that could signal one. To report suspected landslide indicators, call the 24-hour provincial toll-free number at 1-800-663-3456, contact 9-1-1 or call your local fire, police or public works department.
Landslide or debris flow indicators may include:
- Sudden changes in stream flow.
- Rapid changes or pulses in stream flow (e.g. changes in volume) or pulses of sediment (e.g. changes from clear to murky water).
- Abnormally dirty water.
- Accumulation of large logs or debris.
- Rapid accumulation of sediment or bed-load along a flat section of a creek channel.
- Tension cracks near the top of a slope.
- Falling rocks or boulders or flowing or sliding soil. This may precede a much larger landslide.
What to do During a Landslide
Leave the area immediately if you observe the following:
- A faint rumbling sound that increases in volume.
- Unusual sounds, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
- If you are caught in a landslide with no option to evacuate, curl in a tight ball and protect your head and neck.
What to do After a Landslide
Take these initial steps after a landslide to ensure your safety:
- When you are safe, report the situation by calling 9-1-1.
- Stay away from the slide area as there could be subsequent slides.
- Listen to local radio or television stations for the latest emergency information.
- Watch for flooding, which may occur after a landslide or debris flow.
Flooding is a common, naturally occuring event. If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies. Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.
Although it can happen at any time of the year, the most severe floods typically occur in spring known as freshet or during fall and winters. This seasonal flooding usually caused by heavy rain and snow melt.
Here are a few things you can do to the exterior of your home:
- Enhance landscaping so water drains away from the foundation.
- Ensure water from downspouts drains away from your residence.
- Clean your gutters regularly.
- Maintain your perimeter drains regularly.
- Keep nearby storm drains clear of debris.
What to do Before a Flood
- Flood waters can rise quickly.
- Check your insurance to see if residential flood insurance is available for your property.
- Depending on the severity of flooding, local authorities may issue an evacuation alert or order.
- See more information, and read the province’s updated Flood Preparedness Guide: Be Prepared for Floods
What to do During a Flood
If you face a threatening flood situation:
- Park vehicles away from streams and waterways.
- Do not walk or drive through flood waters.
- Raise electrical appliances.
- Move valuable and special items to upper floors.
- Anchor fuel supplies.
- Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.
What to do After a Flood
- It’s important to restore your home as soon as possible to protect your health and your house’s contents.
- Once your home is safe to enter, follow the steps in the Flood Clean Up Guide.
In British Columbia, property owners are responsible for taking the necessary steps on their property to protect their home and property from flooding, while government emergency programs focus on broader flood response measures.
The Town of Oliver will provide sand and sandbags for property owners as needed, in addition to information about sandbag placement. During a flooding emergency,
Emergency Management BC (EMBC) may assist with funding for response works such as tiger dams, sand and sandbags, and other emergency resources.
Sandbagging General Information
Construct sandbag wall (dike) on high ground, as close as possible to your home or building. Sandbagging closer to your home or building requires fewer bags and is less exposed to water. Sandbags must be neatly stacked. Joints between rows and layers of sandbags should be lapped or staggered to improve strength; this will reduce water seepage.
It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a one-foot-by-20-foot wall. Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags (NOTE: you should tie the ends of plastic bags shut to prevent the sand and bags from washing away), shovels and time to prepare properly.
- If you require assistance with sandbagging, please connect with your friends, family or volunteer organizations.
- The Town of Oliver does not deliver sand or sandbags to private residences or businesses
- Filled sandbags are not available from the Town of Oliver
Flood Zones are Danger Zones
Be aware of the risks before re-entering a flood zone. Numerous hazards may be present in a flood zone, and they may be difficult to spot due to the surrounding damage and the emotion of returning home.
Hazardous material spills can occur on land or in water. They involve substances such as chemicals, radiation, biohazard materials, oil and gas, propane, flammable materials, industrial products and mixed waste.
What to do during a hazardous material spill
Sometimes an accident may cause a hazardous material to enter the air. You may be told to “shelter-in-place” instead of evacuating.
- Go indoors and stay there
- Close all outside and inside doors
- Close all windows
- Do not use kitchen or bathroom vents
- Set thermostats so air conditioners, furnaces and hot water heaters do not come on
- Do not use fireplaces. Close all dampers
- Do not operate the clothes dryer
- Stay in an inside room as far away from windows and doors as possible
- Avoid smoking as it contaminates the air
- Do not leave the building until told to
- Stay tuned to local TV or radio for information
- Do not use the telephone
Report a hazardous material spill
If you become aware of a hazardous material spill, report it.
- Call 9-1-1 if it's an emergency
- For non-emergencies, call toll-free at 1-800-663-3456, 24 hours a day
- If the spill is in international waters, call 1-800-OILS-911