Evacuation and Local Emergency FAQ Page

Welcome to our Evacuation and Local Emergency FAQ page. Since we have been evacuated, it's important to have up-to-date information and resources. Here, you'll find the answers you need on what to do during and after an evacuation, how to stay informed, and tips for staying safe. Our goal is to support you through this challenging time. Stay informed and stay safe.

How long will we be out of the community?
As soon as BC Wildfire Service notifies us that it is safe to start returning services to the community, the Emergency Operations Centre will start the re-entry process.  The length of time depends on the wildfire situation and the state of services in the community.  There is no estimate yet for how long this will be, but re-entry and recovery planning will be the EOC's next task.
 What are the steps for returning to the community?
  • Notification of safety
  • Emergency Operations Centre returns to the community to start re-establishing services
  • Restoration activities commence (removal of structural protection equipment, cleanup activities)
  • Restore utilities including fuel, hydro, gas, water and sewer
  • Restore essential services such as groceries, pharmacy, medical services and retail.
  • Rescind the order and begin returning residents to the community.
 When we return will we be on alert status?
Residents will be returned to the community when the danger to life and health no longer remains.  As of May 16, 2024, hazardous conditions persist such as ongoing drought and the number of fires in the area.  
Was there a State of Emergency declared and what happens when it is?
A state of Local Emergency was declared on May 10, 2024.  As per the Guide for Declaring a Sate of Local Emergency in British Columbia: Declaring a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) enables local authorities in the Province of British Columbia to exercise the emergency response powers listed in the Emergency and Disaster Management Act. The emergency response powers are used by the local authority to take actions such as ordering the evacuation of residents from an area, prohibiting travel, or entering private property when an emergency threatens lives, property, or objects or sites of heritage value within the local authority’s jurisdiction.
How are the responders in the community supported for food and essential services?
The Emergency Operations Centre is responsible to ensure resources are allocated to all coordinated operational staff on the ground working the response efforts.  Requests flow through EOC Operations and are supplied as needed.
Have there been any damages and if so what are they?
Any structure loss will be identified, documented and assessed when it is safe to do so. Property owners will be contacted directly by the Mayor or a representative of the EOC.

What is being done about security for the community and at checkpoints?

RCMP are in community, well staffed, and are maintaining regular patrols of the community as well as operating checkpoints as needed.

How are supplies being maintained up the highway for Toad River residents?

While the highway is impacted by the fire, supplies are being directed through the northern route.  When it is safe to do so, access permit may be requested from the EOC to pass through the evacuation area.

At what point will schools be cancelled for the year?  Will there be other avenues for schooling?

 Location specific information (is there power at … is there gas …)?
If you have a question related to conditions in a specific area you can contact the Emergency Operations Centre at eoc@northernrockies.ca 

Am I allowed to stay in town?

  • While on an Evacuation Order, no one may access the community that is not involved with the Northern Rockies Fire Rescue or BC Wildfire Service, or to whom an Evacuation Area Access Permit has been issued.  This is to ensure the safety of the community and to ensure that resources are applied where it will have the greatest effect.
  • Those who elect to remain in the community will have no access to critical or support services and must remain on their property so as to not obstruct response efforts.

ESS Questions

 What supports are available for evacuees?

Emergency Support Services are available for evacuees. 

See the ESS rates sheets for how supports are determined.

What supports are there for those outside of BC? 

Billeting supports outside of BC are the same within BC.

Scattered evacuees can receive support through e-transfer.

Hotel reimbursement is not available outside of BC.

Gas/transportation not included. 

Food and incidentals are reimbursed at the same rate as those within BC.

How can I access supports if I’m not near a Reception Centre?

Evacuees who are unable to get themselves to a reception centre and require assistance they can contact:

  • for emergency social service supports (registration, disbursements), call 250-794-3310.  | 10am - 3pm
  • for setting up BC Services Card and EFT, call 1-800-387-4258  | 9am - 5pm

If completing remote registration, evacuees will only be eligible for billeting and meals allowance through EFT.

 Why can’t I renew online?
ESS services are provided based on a needs assessment which is determined in a face to face meeting.
How will I pay rent if we are out for an extended period of time?
 Speak to your employer and/or your insurance provider for options.

What supports are available for people with additional needs?

Bayshore Home Care: 1 (250) 775-1849 is available for those who need additional assistance.

BC Wildfire Service Questions

 Where are the water bombers?
 BC Wildfire service maintains an aerial attack fleet and deploys them where necessary depending on need and weather conditions.  Visit the Wildfires of Note page linked below for information regarding resources for any given fire. 
Wildfire-specific information – what is happening specific to each fire/area?
What could have been done in the winter for the holdover fires?
The BC Wildfire Service and Prince George Fire Centre are aware that some holdover fires from the 2023 season are now, in some areas, smouldering and producing visible smoke. This is expected on fires of considerable size or in areas experiencing ongoing drought conditions. The BC Wildfire Service is aware of ongoing activity and will determine appropriate courses of action as conditions may change.


A holdover fire is a fire that remains dormant and/or undetected for a considerable period of time after it starts. This is particularly common for lightning-caused fires, fires of considerable size, and fires that are in areas with dry Duff Moisture Codes (DMC) and Drought Codes (DC). The DMC and DC are indicators of the dryness of fuels in the duff layer, or approximately 7 cm deep and deeper.


It is possible for large fires to move deep underground and “slumber” undetected for a period of time. Heat can simmer underground for days, weeks, or even months. As the weather dries out and temperatures rise, these fires can flare up.


The BC Wildfire Service has protocols in place to patrol large fires when weather conditions could allow holdover fires to show themselves. Ground and air patrols may be conducted to look for smoke and/or heat. Ground patrols focus on identifying smoke plumes, and can be completed by staff from areas with good visibility of the area of concern. Air patrols also look for smoke plumes, but can use thermal imaging to locate heat signatures as well.

For more info, check out this blog: https://blog.gov.bc.ca/bcwildfire/holdover-fires-and-continued-response-in-the-prince-george-fire-centre/

If you have a question not answered above please email communications@northernrockies.ca and we will do our best to get it answered and posted promptly.