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BC Wildfire Resources for Small Business - 2023

British Columbia has endured a devastating wildfire season in 2023. With the peak of fire season having arrived, impacts have been felt throughout our province, from Northern BC, to Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan.

Tragically, these fires have driven many from their homes, shrouded our province in clouds of smoke, and left small businesses picking up the pieces. During this extremely challenging time, several resources are available to business owners to help manage the day-to-day situation and plan for their rebuild.

Below, we have gathered the currently available resources and we will continue adding to this document as further resources come online.

Prepared BC - Emergency Plan for Small Businesses

This resource is designed to help small business owners plan and prepare for emergencies that could interrupt operations. Use this template as a starting point and add to it as needed. One simple step today can make a difference in how effectively your business responds to and recovers from a disaster.

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Prepared BC - Emergency Preparedness Guide for Small Business

Use this guide as a starting point to protect your business by ensuring you’re prepared to resume operations as possible following any type of emergency or business disruption.

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10 Tips for Disaster Proofing Your Business

Developing a disaster preparedness plan isn’t just in your interest; it’s vital in assisting rebuilding efforts province-wide. Here are 10 tips to help your business prepare for the worst.

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Province of BC Resources

This interactive map lists emergencies across the province (fires, floods, landslides, etc.), evacuation orders, as well as a list of cooling centres for heatwaves.

View Map

If you have been evacuated due to wildfire, register with Emergency Support Services whether or not you need support, so loved ones and communities know where you are and that you are safe.

Register online or by phone:

  • Evacuee Registration and Assistance online tool:
  • Emergency Support Services registration toll-free phone line: 1 800 585-9559

Discover the latest on evacuation orders, alerts and supports for evacuees, alongside travel advisories from around the province.

Emergency Alerts

This guide will help you prepare your household, protect your property and learn what to do if a wildfire is close to your community.

Wildfire Preparedness Guide

Suffered damage to your property during the wildfires? Learn about the steps you need to take regarding permits, zoning and building/fire codes. These codes apply to the construction, alteration, repair and demolition of buildings.

Permit Information for Permits, Zoning and Building/Fire Codes

At the time of publishing, no specific programs have been launched relating to the 2023 Wildfire Season. However, if these programs are eventually launched they will be featured on this page.

Insurance and Income Protection

Learn the steps to take to ensure continuity of your tourism business in times of crisis such as wildfires and other natural hazards.

Guide for Tourism Operators

Other Resources and Supports

Learn how to keep your staff safe from smoke exposure during fire season.

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Discover a range of curated supports from the BC Economic Development Association.

Wildfire Resources

Find dedicated resources and supports from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. There are dedicated sections for employers, employees and homeowners.

Wildfire Resources

Insurance Bureau of Canada have created a dedicated resource for the 2023 Wildfire season.

2023 Wildfire Resource Centre

Tips for Starting the Claim Process

  • Call your insurance representative or company. Most insurers have a 24-hour claims service. Be as detailed as possible when providing information.
  • List all damaged or destroyed items. If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of damage incurred and keep damaged items, unless they pose a health hazard.
  • Keep all receipts related to cleanup and living expenses if you’ve been displaced. Ask your insurance representative about what expenses you may entitled to and for what period of time.

Fire Information Resource

The wildfires don’t just take a financial and environmental toll, they’re also challenging for the mental health of those impacted by them. Find mental health resources to navigate you through this challenging period from the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Wildfire Resources

Residential and commercial customers who are affected by an evacuation order are eligible to receive a credit for the electricity consumed for the duration of the time they’re out of their home, if the order is for five days or longer. BC Hydro also offer flexible bill payment plans for when you’re able to return home.

Help for Evacuees

The Canadian Red Cross are a non-profit with decades of frontline emergency response in our country, and globally through their various international organizations.

Visit the Canadian Red Cross for information on how to create an emergency plan for Wildfires, and key steps for what to do before, during and after a wildfire.

Wildfire Centre

FireSmart Canada leads the development of resources and programs designed to empower the public and increase neighbourhood resilience to wildfire across Canada.

Learn the forecast for air quality and smoke particles in your area on the Fire Smoke website. Data is updated regularly, with forecasts available for the next 48 hours.

Download the Canadian Red Cross’ guide to recovering from wildfire damage.


We respectfully acknowledge our place of work is within the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and that we serve the Peoples of the many Nations throughout British Columbia.