--- UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 29 ---
Over 1,000 fires have been recorded in BC since April 2017, and 1,054,686 hectares have been burned. Currently, more than 100 wildfires continue to burn across the province, close to 3,600 residents remain under evacuation order and more than 11,000 people remain on evacuation alert. The BC Wildfire Service believes that the wildfires could continue into the fall as a result of continued dry and hot weather across southern BC. Due to the recent wildfires near Kelowna, the province has extended its state of emergency to Friday, September 1, 2017. Evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect for the following areas: Philpott Road (almost 20km east of Kelowna), since only 20% of the fire is contained and Prouton Lakes (45km northeast of Williams Lake), as the fire is now almost 1,064 hectares in size. Residents in the area of Big Bend Creek and the Cariboo Region have been allowed back to their homes, though the areas remain on evacuation alert.
--- END OF UPDATE---
Wildfires continue to sweep across the province of British Columbia (BC). Since they began on July 6th, 2017, more than 320,000 hectares have been burned. Some have died down, but many remain uncontained across the province. BC declared a State of Emergency the week of July 10th; the first time in over 14 years. Currently, over 45,000 people have been forced to evacuate communities and over 150 fires have been reported. The residents of Cache Creek and the surrounding areas, and the town of Ashcroft were able to return home later last week. The residents from 100 Mile House, Princeton and the surrounding areas are now also able to return home; their evacuation order was dropped to an alert over the weekend. However, the Cariboo Region and Williams Lake remain under evacuation orders as the closest fire is only 7km away.
Wildfires are a very serious threat to people and businesses across Canada. If wildfires are in areas near you, it is important to monitor the news and adhere to evacuation orders. They can cause catastrophic property losses, resulting in major business interruption and they can endanger your employees, leading to injuries or even death.
For these reasons and more, it is essential to listen for updates on the situation, to act quickly if advised to evacuate the area and to be cautious when re-entering your community and your business premise, once it is deemed safe.
As your broker, we are here to support you through this difficult time and have outlined a few key steps to consider.
- Monitor all advisories.
- Adhere to advisories from civil authorities.
- Implement your business interruption plan should you be forced to evacuate.
- Re-enter the community and premise only when given approval.
- Inform your broker of any business interruptions and actual or potential property losses.
- Gather all information: take pictures of all damaged property and document all facts while they are still clear (such as road closures, loss of services and announcements from civil authority to evacuate or re-enter the premise).
- Submit your claim to your broker and discuss your claim with your assigned claims advocate for next steps.
At JLT Canada our clients come first. To report a claim during office hours (8:30am - 4:30pm EST) please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact our Claims Management Center at: +1 866 554 5002 for 24-hour support.
For further information, please contact Nicole Ng, Vice President, National Practice Leader – Claims at +1 416 848 6902 or email@example.com or visit the Claims page on our website.