Crisis Communications In Bc

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A presentation given to Conservation Ontario communications representatives, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Sept. 22/09

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Crisis Communications In Bc

  1. 1. Crisis Communications A Provincial Fire Ranger’s Perspective
  2. 2. A Call to Action <ul><li>The 2009 forest fire fighting support effort to BC is the longest sustained and largest dispatch ever done by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Almost 1000 individuals from across the Ontario were in BC and in total we provided 21,500 person days of support. </li></ul><ul><li>MNR had staff in BC for 67 days starting in June to mid-September </li></ul><ul><li>Some 17,000 pieces of forest fire fighting equipment were packaged and transported to BC. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Arrival at Kamloops, British Columbia Ontario Fire Rangers at Merritt Staging Camp
  4. 4. Lava Canyon Wildfire <ul><li>Location: In the Brittany Triangle Discovered: Sunday, August 02, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Size: 66,719.0 ha </li></ul><ul><li>Status: Active • 100% guarded • 100% contained The fire is 100 percent contained, including the excursion from September 12. The fire is 100 percent controlled. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Where is Lava Canyon? <ul><li>Lava Canyon </li></ul>
  6. 6. Where is Bull Canyon? <ul><li>Bull Canyon Base Camp </li></ul>Bull Canyon Base Camp
  7. 7. Ontario Fire Rangers burn-out at Lava Canyon Lava Canyon smoking!
  8. 8. What’s it like to fight a Wildfire in BC?
  9. 9. Emergency Communications
  10. 10. Being Prepared <ul><li>Keep a check list of communication equipment, tasks to be performed and who to contact. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that there are backup systems and alternate staff to maintain the emergency communications functions </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise emergency communications functions along with any other emergency exercises that are scheduled. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Who are you trying to reach? People Outside Area of Impact Emergency Response Staff People within Area of Impact BC Public Ontario Public Other Provinces Ranchers First Nations Wildfire Staff BC Provincial Staff
  12. 12. Assessing Communications Needs <ul><li>Assess audiences information needs on a continuing basis during an emergency response </li></ul><ul><li>Select a mix of communications initiatives that optimize your efforts to meet needs of audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust communications efforts to ensure you are able to sustain your communications commitments throughout the emergency. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Public Meetings
  14. 14. News Releases <ul><li>FIRE CREWS CONTINUE TO BE CHALLENGED </li></ul><ul><li>BY LAVA CANYON FIRE </li></ul><ul><li>ALEXIS CREEK – With wind and unseasonably high temperatures, fire fighters will be challenged with spot fires and aggressive fire behaviour, as wind directions will likely change unexpectedly throughout the day on the Lava Canyon wildfire. </li></ul><ul><li>A restricted area order is in effect, under section 11 of the Wildfire Act, for C50418 Lava Canyon wildfire, for the period ending October 15, 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>For restricted access to the area, permission must be obtained in person, at the Bull Canyon Fire Camp near Alexis Creek, by the Incident Commander Rob Krause. Contact phone number 1-250-483-4121. </li></ul><ul><li>Resources consist of 287 firefighters, 10 helicopters, 19 pieces of heavy equipment, and 38 support staff. The fire which was at 63,533ha has increased in the last 24 hours by 4 per cent. </li></ul><ul><li>For updates on fires of note or open burning restrictions, please call 1-888-3FOREST or visit the B.C. Wildfire Management program website at www.bcwildfire.ca. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Local Advisories
  16. 16. New Media
  17. 18. Fire Fighters in Camp (a captive audience)
  18. 19. Camp News
  19. 20. Lava Canyon’s Emergency Communication Initiatives <ul><li>Public Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Daily News Releases </li></ul><ul><li>Local Updates/Advisories </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone hotlines </li></ul><ul><li>Media Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>New Media Venues-Twitter, Facebook, Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>Internal newsletters – Base Camp news </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Any Questions? </li></ul>

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