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Reflecting On The Summer Forest Fires

Over 500 Forest Fires

The Largest, Longest, Most Expensive Fire Season Ever

In the Greater Vancouver area, we have not had to endure any evacuations due to the fires that are plaguing much of our province and even into the USA. The smoke in our area gives us some impression of how bad the forest fires must be.  The Province of BC declared a state of emergency August 16th 2018 and there were about 560 fires burning in our province alone. For a short stretch, the news reported, that we had the worse air quality in the world.

There has not, to my knowledge, been a need to activate any Emergency Communications Teams due to the fires. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t the real possibility that there could be activations for forest fires. 

The Colorado forest fires in July 2012 saw ARES teams in Colorado County called out to communicate at a number of fires. In Arizona this year, the ARES group in Coconino County was called to action because of poor cellular communications to the front line of the forest fires. In 2016, in Tennessee, ARES bridged the communications gap for the Red Cross during the wildfires there. In California in 2015, during the wildfires there, ARES volunteers in Amador,  Yolo and Sacramento Counties were activated to assist the Red Cross. 

In 2016, New Mexico Volunteers were also activated during wildfires in that state.
It’s pretty unlikely that we’ll be called to action for a wildfire in the Greater Vancouver area. It is a real possibility for other areas of the province however. When a disaster happens close to home, it makes people think about disasters, so it’s a good time to think about your preparedness status. 

If you are reading this and don’t know how to prepare (hopefully you aren’t a Surrey Emergency Program Amateur Radio (SEPAR) member because all our members should be ready), there are lots of places online that can give you ideas of what you need to do.  Preparedness is a little different for everyone, depending on your personal needs. A good place to start is:

Get Prepared!

SEPAR Annual Competition

As of last April, we started a competition that active SEPAR members can participate in. The most active member will win an MD390 DMR Radio package. You can checkout pictures of the radio and see the rules on (an interim website).
If you are not now a member, we’d love to have you on-board. Contact me at the  link above.

~ Roger VA7VH
   SEPAR Coordinator

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