Wildfires: Information & Facts

A large forest fire with trucks parked along the highway
There are roughly 8,000 wildfires in Canada each year. Densely forested areas across much of Canada are at risk of wildfires, particularly during dry conditions and drought. Forest fires can devastate communities, destroy buildings and infrastructure, and even claim human lives. 

Preparing for Wildfires: Before, During & After

Wildfire Basics

Wildfires often start small and initially go unnoticed, but have the capacity to spread very quickly. As they travel across large areas, they ignite brush, trees, homes and buildings. Burning debris can be thrown up to two kilometres ahead of a wildfire. Sparks and embers can ignite materials on or near your home causing severe damage. 

On average in Canada, wildfires burn 2.5 million ha/year, nearly half the size of Nova Scotia. 

Much of the country is at risk of wildfires. Most wildfires occur between April and September.

Wildfires can spread quickly, forcing your family and even your whole community to evacuate in a hurry. If you live in a region at risk of wildfires, make a plan to be sure you and your loved ones will be safe if a fire hits your community
The Canadian Wildland Fire Information System creates daily maps tracking the behaviour of fires throughout the year. During the fire season, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre provides up-to-date reports on wildfires across the country.
FiresmartCanada.ca provides guidance on how to mitigate and prepare your home and community for wildfire risk.
Provincial and territorial information
Each province and territory works closely with local authorities to keep communities safe during wildfires. Each provincial government has a website with information on the local fire situation. 

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