These resources support communication and wildfire preparedness planning among local governments and agricultural residents.
The 2018 report summarizes the results of a consultation process with agriculture producers and government agency staff involved in wildfire response. It identifies 17 issues and potential solutions associated with communication before, during and after wildfires, i.e., during preparedness, response and recovery, and focuses on four key themes:
- Pre-season communication and preparedness planning
- Communication during wildfire
- Agricultural values at risk and data sources/options
- Integration of agricultural knowledge and capacity
The consultation process revealed that pre-season communication and preparedness planning offered the greatest potential for implementable solutions.
The Plan & Quick Reference Guide (2021) were developed to guide the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) in communicating with its agricultural residents about wildfire. The plan provides a framework to facilitate the exchange of information between RDOS and agricultural residents and identifies required actions for effective communication before, during and after a wildfire event. A quick reference guide summarizes essential activities detailed in the plan.
Key areas of focus of the RDOS wildfire communication plan include:
- Annual pre-season information exchange meetings
- Annual agriculture-focused bulletins
- Use of Civic Ready for emergency notifications
- Agricultural liaison assistant training and support
- Temporary access process/procedures
To build on the pilot, roundtable meetings were held in 2021 with participating regional districts (RDOS, RDCO, RDEK, RDKB) and customized, templated communication materials for RDOS and RDCO were developed. An East Kootenay agriculture wildfire preparedness information exchange was held virtually in 2021.