The Claims Process For Property Damage By Wildfire Personnel
During a wildfire, the government authorizes wildfire personnel to do certain things on private property to fight the fire and prevent further spread of the fire, including setting up sprinklers, digging trenches, and establishing fire walls. Some of these tactics used to fight fires may cause damage to private property. For example, sprinklers used to protect properties from fire can cause water damage. Fortunately, there is a process accessible to homeowners to receive money from the government to cover the costs of these types of damages.
Under the Wildfire Act, the government is required to compensate the owner and any tenant of a property if the government (or an individual or group acting on behalf of the government) causes damage to the land in carrying out the fire control. If your property has sustained damage from a government actor carrying out fire control, you may submit a claim for compensation to the BC Wildfire Services.
To initiate the claims process, send an email to BCWSClaims@gov.bc.ca, call 778-267-0589, or send correspondence to the following address:
BC Wildfire Service Victoria HQ
2957 Jutland Road
PO BOX 9502 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9C1
If you send your claim by mail, you should write “Attention Claims” on the envelope.
Please note that there may be time limits on when claims can be brought. We recommend seeking legal advice from a lawyer with respect to the time limits that may affect your claims.
Our Wildfire Litigation Team includes lawyers Alison Cathcart, Darcy Whittaker, and Thomas Eaves. Should you require more information, please call one of our lawyers at 1-250-762-2108 or visit our website at www.pushormitchell.com.
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