The rising dangers of wildfires: breaking down provincial worries

First Onsite study explores wildfire, evacuation and family safety fears

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, May 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FIRST ONSITE Property Restoration, Canada’s leading property restoration company, marks the beginning of wildfire season and the seven-year anniversary of the Fort McMurray, Alberta wildfires with the release of its wildfire worries survey. The study examines Canadians’ concerns, perceptions, and fears amid ever-increasing summer wildfire threats.

The survey of more than 1500 Canadian adults found that nearly half of Canadians are worried about the damage caused by wildfires (46%).

Regional wildfire concerns were highest in British Columbia (76%) which has endured several years of intense wildfire activity, especially 2017 and 2018 as well as the devastating 2021 fire that eviscerated the town of Lytton.

B.C. was followed by Alberta (55%) which suffered the catastrophic Fort McMurray wildfire of 2016, as well as the 2019 Alberta wildfires, described by NASA as an extreme fire season. Atlantic Canadians were the next most concerned region at 53 per cent, followed by Quebec (49%), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (38%) and finally, Ontario (32%).

Three-in-four Canadians (75%) were concerned about personal and family safety during disasters such as wildfires. Meanwhile, 56 per cent of respondents were concerned about having to leave their home or community. See table below.

Q1. How concerned are you about:TotalB.C.
Q2. Regarding disasters, how concerned are you about the following:TotalB.C.
Personal or family safety
Having to leave my home or community56%67%53%44%55%53%58%
Source: First Onsite Property Restoration

“With wildfires and other catastrophic weather events, there is a substantial risk of interruption to lives and businesses,” said Jim Mandeville, SVP, Large Loss North America, First Onsite Property Restoration. “The number one piece of preparedness advice is to be aware – listen to authorities, follow evacuation alerts, and be ready to go at the drop of a hat, equipped with a full tank of gas and a packed bag. Moving quickly can protect lives.”

About the wildfire worries survey
From February 22 to February 24, 2023, an online survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of n=1,506 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, balanced and weighted on age, gender, region and education. For comparison purposes, a sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was offered in both English and French.

Additional Resources-Wildfires – how to prepare and react
First Onsite can help clients with emergency response planning, which is critical – especially if communities are positioned in wildfire-prone regions. When wildfires do occur, First Onsite is ready 24/7, 365 days per year, to respond to those who have experienced property or smoke damage. Visit our wildfire services page “Wildfires – how to prepare and react” for more information.

About First Onsite
First Onsite Property Restoration is one of the largest and fastest-growing emergency response planning, mitigation, and reconstruction service providers in North America. First Onsite employs over 2,700 team members and operates from more than 100 locations across Canada, the U.S., and Puerto Rico. With a culture focused on harnessing the human power of its team members and a commitment to doing what’s right, the First Onsite team helps clients restore, rebuild, and rise. First Onsite is a subsidiary of FirstService Corporation. For more information, go to or follow @firstonsite on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Lynda Trudell 
MAVERICK Public Relations
M 289-230-4435 |