Wildfires and evacuations
Public and employee safety is our top priority, but we all have a part to play. The best thing you can do is be prepared. Here’s everything you need to know about staying safe around natural gas and electricity before, during and after a wildfire. For more information on how to prepare for wildfires, please visit PreparedBC or Firesmart BC.
You may lose natural gas and electricity service due to a fire, so it’s important to plan ahead. We encourage you to have:
- an emergency kit with enough supplies for at least 72 hours
- a safe backup for preparing and storing food (never use outdoor cooking appliances indoors)
- backup power for:
- hot water
- medical (or any critical) equipment
- lighting and heating
- communications equipment such as cell phones and computers
Important: if you choose to excavate or trench your property to help protect it from fire, contact BC 1 Call at bc1c.ca or 1-800-474-6886 beforehand to get location details of natural gas lines and other underground utilities. During a wildfire, BC 1 Call will prioritize these requests.
Natural gas or electricity service during evacuation
FortisBC will maintain natural gas and/or electricity service to evacuated properties as long as it’s safe to do so. However, we may need to shut these off in the interest of public safety.
Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter if you’re evacuating. We’ll turn off natural gas service as needed.
Your electricity service after an evacuation
- After a fire, our crews will visually inspect each property for damage to buildings and electrical equipment before restoring your electricity service.
- If your buildings or other structures are damaged by fire, we require an affidavit signed by a licensed electrician before we can safely restore electricity service to your premises. See Technical Safety BC's protocol for more information about safely restoring service to your property.
- If you have any concerns related to your electricity service following an evacuation, or if you need to update your contact information, please call our electricity emergency line: 1-866-436-7847.
Your natural gas service after an evacuation
- If natural gas was turned off due to an emergency, we’ll ensure the natural gas system is safe before our crews visit homes to restore service.
- If the service valve on your natural gas meter is turned to the "off" position (crosswise to the pipe) do not turn it on yourself. Our crews will visit your home to restore natural gas service and relight affected appliances. If you are away when our crew arrived, they’ll leave a tag on your door with a number to call (1-877-711-8877) to have them return and restore service to your residence.
Damaged natural gas appliances? Call a licensed gas contractor
Don’t try to put natural gas appliances back in service yourself, and don’t use any appliances that were damaged until a licensed gas contractor has inspected them, ensuring the equipment is safe to operate.
If you have concerns with your natural gas system, or if you smell rotten eggs or hear the sound of escaping gas, go outside and call the FortisBC 24-Hour Emergency Line at 1-800-663-9911 or dial 9-1-1.