Haven’t seen a big info post for the large amount of wildfires
currently active in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia,
especially as to what people can do. So here it is:
province has their own website pages dedicated to wildfire information.
If you are in an area currently affected by a wildfire, they can be of
help as they have maps of fire activity and smoke distribution as well
as air advisories. They also have information about wildfire
management and prevention if you’re curious/aren’t up to date on that. There have been no reports
yet as to whether any of these wildfires were started by human error but
always obey Fire Bans, and be careful of open fires even if
you’re on private property near brush or woods. These pages also have
contact information for reporting a fire you don’t see on their reports
and maps. If you are active on Twitter, consider following your
province’s emergency info/alert agency.
Saskatchewan - Map of Active Fires >100ha (pdf), Fire Ban info, Air Quality Readings (doesn’t seem to be working for me atm), SaskAlert
Alberta - Wildfire Status Map (pdf), Fire Ban info, Air Quality Health Index (mobile friendly view), Alberta Emergency Alert
British Columbia - Active Wildfires Map (Google Maps), Fire Ban info, Air Quality Health Index (please note Metro Vancouver is currently at 9-12, see Advisory [pdf]), Emergency Info BC
All - Smoke Forecasts (epilepsy warning: maps may flash white between frames)
People in all smoke affected areas: please read the Lung Association of Saskatchewan’s Forest Fires and Lung Health Sheet.
It has symptom info for smoke inhalation and very importantly, warning
signs for Asthma and COPD attacks. Here are some general precautions to
- Stay cool and hydrated.
- Avoid strenuous exercise.
- Remain indoors if possible.
driving, keep windows and vents closed, use air conditioning with the
recirculation setting to avoid introducing outside smoke.
- If you use an air conditioner in your home, follow advice as above.
you have a room air cleaner in your home, use it. Make sure filters,
which can be especially helpful (such as HEPA filters), have been replaced if necessary. Consider purchasing one if you or anyone in your
home appears to be sensitive to the effects of the smoke.
- Pay special attention to children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Take shelter in large air conditioned buildings.
How to Help:
the front line, firefighting services are provided by the Forestry
Service and they do not accept donations. The best way to help them is
to follow fire bans, be cautious, and be prepared for evacuation by
having supplies and plans ready if you are in a wildfire risk area and
to pay attention to any evacuation warnings and orders.
services are generally provided by the Canadian Red Cross, a
Non-Governmental Organization. They are who to call if you have been
separated from family due to evacuation orders. They do accept monetary donations,
and you may specify where you wish for your donation to go, such as to
Canadian disaster relief. If you are not in an area where evacuees are
being sheltered, this is probably the most effective way to help. There
is also an independent GoFundMe started to help families of Northern Saskatchewan.
you are in an area where evacuees are currently being sheltered, local
organizations likely take over as the Red Cross volunteers already have
their hands full at evacuation centres. In Saskatchewan, the Salvation Army is accepting summer clothing and footwear for evacuees,
which can be dropped off at their thrift stores. However, efforts are
largely decentralized, so please do local research for where you can
volunteer or donate, or even connect with evacuees needing shelter if
you have (or can make) space in your home. There is a Facebook page
called Sask Evacuations - Helping One Another you may want to check out.
Finally, spread the word. The more informed we all are, the better.